I saw fear today – naked fear. And it was a fear of me – not of surprise, not of any threat, not of any of my doing.
Bullies drink that fear; some even distill it for their own consumption. Some go the extra mile and cultivate it through manipulation. It was very uncomfortable having it directed at me. I take great pains to avoid it because I am no bully. I’m not large. I don’t do anything particularly scary. In fact, if you were to run into me these days, you would think anything but.
The typical greeting I get these days is, “You got fat.” But that’s another post.
I have seen the fear that I saw today before. It’s the fear that someone has when they believe that you wield some power or authority over them, that you have the capacity to harm them in some way, and I would like to think a healthy person would recoil.
Fear is a problem. I’ve known fear in ways that have left me unafraid of most things; but once you know fear – real fear – you know it. And a person who is afraid is not rational, and is a person you can’t deal with in a meaningful way.
So I left. And I sit here thinking tonight how to address that person’s fear.
And the answer is trust.