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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %FEAR UNFAMILIAR DANGEROUS IGNORANCE UNRELIABLE+030118 %RISKY FOREIGN MINORITIES STRANGERS PARANOIA FALL+030118 %SECURITY INVULNERABILITY CONTROL DOMINATION DEVIL+030118 %POWERS BEING TRUE SELF OTHER SEXUAL PURITY PURITAN+030118 %REPRESSION SUPPRESSION DISHONESTY PRETENSION FAILS+030118 %EXPLORE CEREMONY REVERENCE HONOR RESPECT CIVILITY 030118 People often fear that which is unfamiliar. Often that which is unfamiliar is that which is unlikely to be encountered --- simply because there are few opportunities for it to be encountered; e.g., an ice berg or water fall in the middle of the Sahara Desert. That which is unfamiliar is not necessarily dangerous. Often people fear other people who are unfamiliar because of ignorance and/or prejudice; rather than because the other people are known to be dangerous, unreliable, or intent on engaging in destructive, dangerous and/or risky activities. People from foreign countries often are members of minorities and so are unfamiliar to provincial local citizens. Such "strangers" may be feared by local provincial citizens who are thus ill-disposed to vote for "strangers" from a foreign country. Such ignorance and prejudice has prevented highly qualified candidates for public office from being elected --- when there were no legitimate grounds for fear. In other occasions creative people who are humanely and honestly exploring new styles of art, music, dance, communication, relationships, spirituality and understanding --- are perceived as threats by provincial local people who are stuck in exclusive traditions. That which is unfamiliar may be feared for no reason other than that it is unfamiliar; even though there is no real risk, danger or threat. Emotionally immature people may fear friendships, intimacy, dialogue, cooperation, mutuality and understandings --- which entail people with whom they are not familiar. The above considerations are especially relevant in regards to sexual relationships --- because of the presence of high levels of real risks in sexual relationships; e.g., in regards to the transmission of terrible diseases and in regards to vulnerability to sexual abuse and disappointment. In all intimate relationships, but especially in sexual relationships, there are large risks when there are significant differences in power levels of those who are involved in, and/or interested in, the sexual relationships. There are many ways in which people become interested in sexual relationships; even if only in their imaginations. High levels of fear have on many occasions led people to try to minimize their fears through the use and abuse of: prohibitions, prescriptions, ceremonies, laws and taboos. That which is feared is made illegal and/or taboo. People who violate informal prohibitions, prescriptions, ceremonies, laws and taboos --- are excommunicated in one way or another; formally, or informally through lynchings, shunnings, exclusivity, etc. Fearful people often demand purity of thought, appearance, and community. That which is feared through ignorance and lack of familiarity --- is regarded as an abomination, sin, evil and/or illegal. Mandatory ceremonial exclusions may be used to prevent occasions for fear, anxiety and/or embarrassment --- due to the presence of people and/or behaviors which are not familiar; although not truly dangerous or risky. Such mandatory ceremonial exclusions perpetuate the fears which they are designed to minimize; and often heighten the tensions and contentions which the fearful people thought they could minimize through exclusivity. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================