Let’s help children to conquer fear
WHILE some may find themselves facing the imminent fear of death, due to circumstances which they could not readily have imagined, only a small minority are in a wholly different situation where duty or courage forces them forward, like policemen or the young Frenchman who scaled the exterior of a building to save a child.
The media frequently present such news in a misleading fashion: “There was no time to think before he acted.” The expression may be due to modesty or misunderstanding, but it cannot be accurate. It is a fact of biology that our brains have been programmed for selfpreservation. That is hardwired, and it requires some factor even more powerful to overcome that safeguard which Mother Nature has built in.
It is important every child has a clear understanding, before he or she becomes an adult, to reach a full comprehension of the internal conflicts of adult life. There are helpful factors such as training, which are invaluable to help the professional firefighter contend with the fear which twists his guts when the situation appears to be getting out of hand. But our actions depend ultimately, beyond character, upon the beliefs in our minds. That Frenchman made a choice about which priority he believed in.
I suggest the education system is remodelled to contain elements such as outdoor activities, through which every child, at their own pace, can learn how to conquer fear itself, which takes many guises, and might return in old age.