Monday, 27 July 2015

The Lizard Phenomenon

Recently, a lizard had crawled up on the wall of a bathroom in the girls' hostel where I live. There was some commotion in the area, and the girl who was going to enter that bathroom gave a cry. Being aware of the fact that I'm not scared of any reptiles or insects, one of them called me. Under one minute, I had guided the lizard in dustpan with a broom and thrown it outside.

This got me thinking. Why were some people afraid of lizards while others weren't?

One of my earliest childhood memories consists of my mother moving to a corner while my father chased after a random lizard which would have entered my home. Not once did my father teach me how to scurry away a lizard, I just watched him while he did it, oblivious of my mother, who would be waiting in the other room; and I believe it was  sometime around this point of time when my mind registered the fact that lizards are not scary or dangerous, they can simply be released out in the open without any problem.

I call this The Lizard Phenomenon. We seldom realize how impressionable we were as kids, and hence how many fears and insecurities we harbor in our adulthood were contracted in those first days from our parents.

We are conditioned to be afraid of what scared our parents. The father-son duo which is scared of heights is not mere coincidence or genetics, a much deeper force is at work. The kind of intimacy we have with our parents in our formative years ensures this. My Dad always lives with a perennial fear of road accidents , and I drive really slow!

Bottom line: many of your fears may not be your personal, you may have merely absorbed them from your parents (or perhaps, an elder sibling) who, in their place, experienced something which planted that fear in them.

What are you most afraid of? Is that fear yours to keep? Don't be afraid of the lizard on the wall. Just slide it on a dustpan, and release it out of the window.