Most people do not believe that I am shy. After all look at the way I dress for dog shows. And when I go and give a talk and demonstration sometimes in front of 100 or so people.
Quite simply it’s true. The fear I often feel before any of these events is quite nauseating. Sometimes it is even an effort for me to leave my house. I often have to force myself to leave for the dog shows in the morning of the day of one. Once I have, I am okay.
I think I am what I would describe as an introverted extrovert! Don’t get me wrong I am not saying that I am afraid all the time. I enjoy other people’s company I just can’t deal with it for too long. I also enjoy the lovely comments that some people make. It amazes me that any one would take the time to go up to somebody they do not know and pay them a compliment.
This is all so very different to past experience. I know when I first started showing four years ago I was terrified. For me it was like going back into the lion’s den. No one has yelled abuse at me, kicked me, punched me, or spat on me.
I think the conquering of fear is a major work for all of us. A certain amount of fear is necessary to keep us out of danger. Yet fear can keep us from living, keeper some loving, and can prevent us having wonderful experiences.
Fear is pretty much at the root of all of the world’s ills. Fear of not having enough. Fear of death. Fear of humiliation. Fear that we are not good enough.
Fear of not being good enough is constantly reinforced by religion and the media. Right from birth most of us learn that we are not good enough. People who fear that they are not good enough have their capacity to love themselves and others severely diminished. And there lies our problem. If the very young I loved and accepted as they are they grow up into adults to love and accept themselves and as a result love and except other people. This means that they can empathise with others. Without empathy it is not possible to treat others well and it becomes very easy to demonise others and either to stand by when evil is perpetrated upon others, like in the Holocaust, or even to commit evil acts ourselves.
In this country we have a high rate of teen age pregnancy, drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and general delinquency. We also have a high rate of child incarceration. We have a reputation in Europe for not loving our children.
If we do not love and respect children we cannot hope to produce adults who love and respect others. Worse we produce adults who do not love and respect themselves. And hence the cycle is not broken.