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Why does one fear the future?

  1. Jul 16, 2005 #1
    The above question's answer I have been searching for quite sometime now.
    Hi, I m Smisha doing my 12th in Dubai and 16 yrs old.
    All my friends who are guys tend to change subjects when asked about their future. They are totally not set for it and one of them do agree that he is scared of his future.
    These guys are usually the brave ones but when they come to future there goes every bit of courage down the gutter!
    I just want to know the reason if someone among the members (guys or gals) can help me out in this coz I wanna help my friends out!
    Thank you very much in advance...... :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 17, 2005 #2
    My guess is that it is the same reason that people fear the dark, death, caves, strangers, foreign ideas, etc.

    People fear the unknown.
    What is known is familiar and comforting.
    When you (well, most) come home, smell your mother's cooking, recognize your furnishings, hear your native language being spoken by voices you recognize, see your siblings and, for the most part, can depend on consistency and an understanding of what is going on around you, you feel safe and comfortable.
    You can relax and let your guard down.
    You can leave your armor outside the door and close your eyes because you know and trust (at least to some extent) those inside, and if you don't trust them wholly, you know exactly when and how to watch your back.
    Familiar is safe and comfortable.
    The unknown is not.

    This has always made me wonder if I do not fear death or other unknowns because I, personally, never felt safe in my home as a child.
    Home was not a safe haven for me.
    I was always more comfortable and felt safer outside my home, and I can't help but wonder if that comes into play regarding my not fearing death, the future or the unknown road.
  4. Jul 17, 2005 #3
    Cause u can't forsee it, u donno how it's gonna be...

    But for me, i don't fear the future, i always believe that it's gonna be better, i think i adopted such an atittude eversince i was a little child, i used to love the unknown, love the dark places, cause i feel it's only dark because something is hidden inside, i felt that everything i couldn't see could have been a treasure or a greater discovery...

    I still feel the same way, with a different view ofcourse...I feel safe anywhere inside or outside, i don't have worries from future, cause i feel that tomorrow will be a better day. And the unknown will give me the privilege of discovering it.

    So it depends mostly on how u define the unknown...People who are scared of the unknown, fear the future, because they have no guaranties...

    I enjoy the sun light on my face, as much as i enjoy sitting in total darkness..It musn't be either this or that it could be both...

    For ex, tomorrow is the future and tomorrow 've to present a project that is yet undone, i can fear that moment, when i'm presenting my project, cause untill the present it is uncomplete yet, but that doesn't mean that in general i fear the future...

    Another example on some far future, in the present, these days, something is changing and probably there's a war thread where u r, u ofcourse fear for tomorrow, fear the unknown, u donno how is it gonna be, but u know it's not gonna get better with a war on doors..

    There r people who are comfortable with their lives, friends, parents, who might fear the experience of living also self dependant, on their own, of eing separated from their friends, of a responsable life in general..Might happen to people at ur age..
  5. Jul 17, 2005 #4
    No one fears the future. They fear pain and misery.
  6. Jul 17, 2005 #5
    That would also be within the future..
  7. Jul 17, 2005 #6


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    Discussing one's future requires having convictions and expressing beliefs. This leaves one's innermost self open to judgement. What 16-year-old boy would leave himself open like that?

    "You want to be a what? A fireman??"

    I'm suggesting that, while you are surely encountering real fear, there is also the possibility that you are encountering some coyness around answering the question being asked.
  8. Jul 18, 2005 #7
    I dont so much fear the future. I rarely think about it. time doesnt exist that way to me. if you were to ask me about my future I would avoid the question as well. its totally undefined, and in my personal experience, it never ends up going the way its planned. I have the basics, school, career, farm, but really, we all know what the future holds. inevitable death. so lets enjoy the moment now. while we are living. I dont fear death and I come from a firmly attached and wonderful family, so it is unlikely that your home life has contributed to your lack of fear of death One Raven. I dont fear death because it is natural. death comes to everything. to me, it just seems like another adventure. we cant securely depend on the future, or time at all. it could just stop coming for any one of us. that doesnt mean we should fear it though. we need it dont we. this is going in circles. is it fear of future, or fear of no future?
  9. Jul 20, 2005 #8
    They do not fear the future. You are not being honest with yourself or us I believe.

    Under what circumstances are you posing this question to these men? If you are posing the question in a pressuring way, "Does your future include me", they will resist providing an answer. Not because they fear the future. Because they do not want to give you an answer.

    They might refuse to answer you because you are badgering or demanding. People do not like to be forced into doing things.
  10. Jul 20, 2005 #9


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    You know, when you say they don't answer because they aren't set for it, doesn't that mean they simply have no answers? They can't tell you their plans for the future if they have none. That doesn't necessarily mean that they have any fear of the future.
  11. Jul 20, 2005 #10


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    Regarding the future, I am looking forward to it. :biggrin:

    I cannot speak for others - but many interesting opportunities and experiences are forthcoming.

    When I was 16, I was expecting to go to university and ultimately get one or more PhDs in math and science. Well, it didn't quite work out as I expected, but so far, my life has been very interesting (well for some it would be exciting and at moments terrifying) and rewarding, and I expect the future will be similarly interesting.

    I am a long way from where I was born. I wonder if living in Dubai, and relatively close to Iraq has anything to do with the fear or uncertainty of the future?
  12. Jul 20, 2005 #11


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    It all depends on your frame of reference and way you look at things. You may major in premed and never get into med school - end up working as a paramedic after taking a year long sequence, 100k in loans, and cleaning up puke piles after patients in your bus. It could be considered as absolutely horrible and drive you into depression eventually resulting in alcoholism and suicide, or you could look at it under a different angle and see opportunities in your life, eventually go to grad school or retake MCATs and reapply to med school - or even enjoy your paramedic profession and make the best out of it

    Pretty much same goes with any other major or career choice. The moment you gave up and give in is the moment you lost basically
  13. Jul 20, 2005 #12


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    You have hit the head of the nail.

    Smisha, when you are too young, your future remains hidden and unknown. You don't know what you want you to be. Therefore you associate future with fear. It is only when you get a bit older (20 or so) when you are going to be the stuff more clearer than ever. Then you will have a target for your future, and you will be hungry of action. You will desire the future to come the soon as possible (but unfortunately it won't be future but it will be the past then!).

    As a gift, I leave you a great sentence:

    "We should be all concerned about the future,
    because we will have to spend the rest of
    our lives there."

    Charles F. Kettering. 1949.
  14. Jul 20, 2005 #13
    "There is nothing to fear but the fear itself"

    -Batman Returns
  15. Jul 20, 2005 #14
    I didn't fear the future when I was growing up. All my friends and I were
    looking forward to it knowing that tomorrow could be made better than today.

    Growing up in the U.S. is special because you don't fear people and power. You
    know that laws limit the government as well as your neighbors and you are free
    to choose your own future from amoung many choices. The sky is the limit.

    There is much less fear over something you can control a little even when you don't
    know what exactly will happen down the road.
  16. Jul 20, 2005 #15
    The U.S.?
    As in The United States of America? :surprised
    *looks around* :uhh:

    I guess I must live in a different U.S. than you do.
  17. Jul 20, 2005 #16
    Are you freaking kidding me? FDR said that.
  18. Jul 21, 2005 #17
    You might well [live somewhere else] the way I see it. Because the US is not as much a place
    as it is an idea- that idea being that we should be free as persons to chart
    our own course in life and not live in fear of oppression.

    If you feel oppressed in the US wether that is real or imagined, you aren't
    living in the same place as I am. And conversely, you don't have to be
    anywhere near North America geographically to be a fellow citizen of mine.

    If in the place where you live everyone is equal before the law and no man
    has the right to determine another man or woman's future, then you too
    are living in my US.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2005
  19. Jul 22, 2005 #18
    It is a shame that this place you speak of is only a state of mind.
    I would really like to visit there if it was a place that actually existed.

    The real problem is that you said:
    So, like most Americans, you seem to not care if others are being oppressed in actuality, as long as you are not one of the oppressed, and you can cling onto your idealized version of what this place is supposed to be.
    As long as people do not recognize the hypocricy running rampant in this country, they will not step up and change things.

    It is the ones that do not care who is suffering, because they are comfortable in their own little lives, that accept status quo and think the US actually lives up to all of its bull**** propaganda.
    Compassion and empathy are integral to a system that is supposed to be what the US is supposed to be, and those who accept things the way they are out of complacence are sorely lacking in thise things.
    They are the ones who are to blame.
  20. Jul 22, 2005 #19
    Many people could not find their path or goals because of fear. It is very difficult to overcome it. Have some bitter experience and you would be able to do that. But that is not the right way. You need attention from your society.
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