Weed, California, June 18, 2008: The other day I woke up thinking about the word ‘fearless.’Have you ever known anybody who was actually fearless?I haven’t. Pretty much any human, any mammal, has fear. And that makes sense, because if a creature didn’t have any fear at all, sooner or later that creature would come a cropper. Adios muchacho.
And critters coming a cropper leave no progeny.
We are, therefore, the progeny of the timorous humans. Or at least of the humans with a healthy dose of fear. Oh we could call it ‘prudence,’ or something that sounds better.
But it’s fear.
However, the other thought is that, over the years, things change.
As I think back about things as a child, I recall fears and even terrors.
As I think back to the adolescent, college, and young-adult years, still fears. Fears a-plenty.
As I recall the late twenties, and the thirties. Yup. Fears.
But somewhere in the forties, a change has become visible. It is just not giving a da*n? The fears about ‘what others think’ seem to have faded away. The fears about ‘the future’ have become weak.
I’ve heard it said that it’s amazing how much mature wisdom resembles just being tired. However, it seems to me that over the years, fears fade.
I have always been afraid to be in places where there are things that can, and would, eat me.
So I don’t go scuba diving in the ocean — well, once I did — and I don’t much like camping in the woods among the bears — well, once I did — I guess I wasn’t terrified of these things, but it bugged me, worrying about them.
And now … I still don’t want to go scuba diving or wander among the woodland bears, or saunter the African savannah amongst the lions, and tigers, and cheetahs, and panthers, and … well, I say the heck with fiddling around with creatures that could eat me.
But, day to day, there is not so much fear. Not like the early years.
I guess it’s … less fear. Fear … less.
So you younger folks, racked by worries and fears. Fear not, for simply by staying alive for a bit longer you will fear less.
I think George Burns said, “There’s nothing very impressive about being old. Anybody can do it, if you just live long enough.”
I guess that’s enough muttering and pondering for today.
And now we return to the studio, and resume your life. Over to you, Chet.