Fear is, by definition, quite an unavoidably necessary part of each individual’s life. When it’s legitimate and kept in check it warns him of which specific people, places, behavior and circumstances he must avoid in order to have a happy productive life. It would be quite tempting to say that if I were incapable of fear, I should be capable of doing all sorts of things that bother me under my current circumstances. That, however, would only be true assuming that I were merely free of all inordinate fear. An absolute lack of any fear whatsoever would lead to all possible kinds and degrees of misfortune. The risk of unfortunate consequences would still be there. In a life devoid of all fear, though, an individual would be prone toward engaging in all kinds of rash judgments and assumptions, expecting to get away with much more than he can truly be expected to handle. Because of my always having been prone toward both anxiety and panic attacks, and a fear of heights, I know quite well that excessive fear brings about significant trouble. The absence of any fear whatsoever, though, can only lead to exactly the very same kind of result. A healthy balance in all things is the only legitimate answer to life’s troubles. Evelyn Waugh’s novel, “Brideshead Revisited” begins with the ancient Latin adage, “Et In Arcadia Ego”. That’s the voice of death, speaking in the first person, reminding mankind that even in a utopian society, he is still inevitably present. There’s no panacea for any of mankind’s troubles.
Julius really wanted to meet his girlfriend Ethel that afternoon at 1:00 p.m at the Collonnade Room in Massapequa. They were planning on having such a really nice birthday lunch together. She was turning thirty. He didn’t know why he let his nerves bother him so much. Looking back over his lifetime he could recall his always having gotten sweaty palms and anxiety and panic attacks at even so much as the thought of a special occasion. It was 5:15 a.m and he was lying around in bed, in his Lindenhurst, New York, apartment, wondering if he could show the girl of his dreams the time of her life on her milestone birthday. Having already made all the most significant plans in advance-the dinner reservations, the tickets for the show, the transportation and flowers- he knew in his head that he was in the clear unless the State of New York closed down that day. He just couldn’t get it out of his head, though, that something was missing, as if, howsoever hard he kept trying, he were still hours behind schedule in some way. Didn’t something have yet to be done, he wondered? Wasn’t there a necessary preparation of some kind which he should be thinking of? He kept staring at his ceiling counting the cracks out of boredom and frustration. He knew quite well that if he called Ralph, his best friend, at this obscenely early hour, Ralph would never let him hear the end of it. Because of his being the only compulsive clock watcher in his circle, he couldn’t count on anyone to understand him. There he was, stranded all alone with his dry mouth and entirely unnecessary stress. All the nightmarishly intense peace and quiet of his suburban residential neighborhood didn’t help the least bit either. Ethel, having always been an exceptionally kind understanding lady, would have accepted good naturedly any entirely unavoidable mishaps anyway. He seemed entirely to have overlooked that though. Finally the moment of truth arrived. It was 12:45 p.m. when he walked into the vestibule of the Collonnade Room on Sunrise Highway. Within minutes after his having gotten there, Ethel arrived. Everything worked out at least as well as he could possibly have wanted it to. Ethel merely rolled her eyes, behind his back, for a few seconds and pretended she’d never even expected any trouble.