As a little kid, I was raised to be afraid. I was warned about the boogey man who I assumed lived in every closet. I was warned by the old Baptist preacher about the heat of hell. I was warned that somewhere out there something was around to get me and in all likelihood if I were not careful, it would. As a woman, I was advised to stay close to others, travel in groups, avert my gaze when meeting strangers especially men. Sit up straight, knees together and cover your cleavage. Yes as a woman in this strange world it would be my fault should I fall victim to rape or abuse. “What did you do or what did you have on to cause this to happen?” is all to familiar. Yes, according to societal dictates, I have to watch myself and follow the rules like a good girl should if i am to stay safe.
Fear is a powerful motivating force to keep us in line. If we are afraid, we will stick to the tried and true, follow the masses and march to a beat that we know is not our own only to feel safe. When we live for safety we lose the piece of us that is unique. We become like everyone else. We cease to really live and in doing so, we die a little faster.