“WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS TRUE BUT MOST PEOPLE DON’T AGREE?”
When asked about something I believe in that not many people would be so eager to agree on, it’s quite easy for me to come up with all kinds of rebellious statements that would shock, or otherwise amuse, like-minded readers. However, bringing something that I do find remarkably true, even if rarely mentioned at the forefront, I find myself once again thinking about fear. Not in a “downer” sort of way. Not the usual “bane of my existence” kind of fear. Actually, not even the “it’s the one thing that makes us stronger” kind of way either.
It is my firm belief that fear can be quite a lot of fun.
Now, just hold on with that phone call you are making to my psychiatrist, as I will try to explain myself. Also, he does charge extra for phone consultations, so joke’s on you.
Something I have noticed is that Fear very often ends up functioning in a very similar manner to humor. Think about it: you have a setting, a context. Then there is a buildup. Eventually, that buildup leads to a punchline. The formula tends to remain the same even if the objectives themselves are different. The great thing about it is that when you notice the patterns, you can have a bit of fun with it.
Going to horror movies or getting groups together to hear horror tales are very fun activities that everyday people participate in willingly. There is a formula that people love to take part in, and just like everybody expects a good laugh out of a joke, everybody expects a good scare out of one of these experiences.
They are connected – sometimes a good scare can make people laugh. And a frankly terrible joke can scare everyone away, something I know all too well.
So, where am I trying to get with all of this? Fear can be a very troublesome feeling. It can be seen as a struggle, a deterrent, a wall. It always presents dreadful things, and even when it is put under a positive light, it is always as a motivator to achieve something – if you defeat it, if you are stronger, you can achieve victory and all that you are due in life.
These are, of course, true things. But may I suggest something a bit different? People are constantly paying a lot of money to be put under stressful or scary situations. Of their own free will.
I argue that if people can learn to enjoy jumping in their seats and having their heart racing when watching a horror movie, then there certainly is potential for this “fear-fun” to be harnessed and channeled into daily life.
And we are no strangers to that one friend who laughs at his overdue paper for the next day, or who is really excited to go explore dark caves in some remote and dangerous location.
So that is my unpopular opinion – that fear can actually be fun and funny at the same time. I am sure that many agree without realizing it, as they are having too much fun reading the next Stephen King novel or plugging in their Conjuring DVDs.
Fear is only as strong as we let it be, and sometimes seeing things in a different light can lead to very significant changes.