Love and Fear
August 8th, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The statement was so striking. The context? Not so much. I can’t remember where we were or even if I heard him say it. As my Father was formulating his parenting philosophy, he reckoned that he had to make a choice. As a father he could either be feared or loved, not both. Believing his two boys were in greater need of discipline than warm fuzzies, he chose to be feared. As far as I know, it was a conscious choice. And as one of two subjects upon whom this parenting philosophy was tried, I’d like the record to show, he did fine job adhering to his philosophy. He was feared alright. If the idea was to make me feel uneasy around him so as I don’t act the fool, then mission accomplished.
The execution was flawless. Where I think he got it wrong was in the formulating. The philosophy was and remains whack. I contend that fear and love are not always mutually exclusive; a choice does not have to be made. Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, … yeah, you, back there … you might be saying, “Wait a minute. Didn’t you write that fear is the enemy of love?” (Group Hug 4/30/2012) Yes I did. In almost every case, it is.
It’d be like if all mushrooms were poisonous except one. I’m making this up … indulge me a minute. So, let’s say only one variety is not poisonous. Why bother then with the one? What if that one was so good, and good for you? It prolonged your life – guaranteed. Magic mushrooms! (Alright, alright, that shroom joke funny. Haha) It’d be worth figuring out how to distinguish that one from the poisonous ones, that magic mushroom. But you’d have to be careful ’cause, like I said the rest are poisonous.
I think it’s the same with fear. All fear is toxic, save one. That one is tied in with love. It’s like awe, like admiration and respect. Instead of running and hiding, this fear draws you in. I might go as far as to say that love is incomplete without this one type of fear.
My Dad got it wrong. You don’t have to choose between love and fear. In fact, I say you mustn’t.