I just finished Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress which heavily emphasised on fear and cowardice.
Despite the anime implying that fear can only lead to cowardice and is thus bad, I personally think otherwise. While it is true that fear of others who we cannot understand is common, leading to isolation and in worse cases bullying, fear itself is not essentially bad. Fear may have been a stimulus, but how people react is simply according to who they are as a person. After all, fear of the unknown is not uncommon. Of course, there are those who are fearless, but because they are fearless, they could bring harm to others without caring about consequences. In the end, whether we fear those we do not understand or not, we simply act out in ways that we as individuals see fit.
Back to talking about those who fear others that they cannot understand, there are different ways people can react. For example, one could keep their distance and first observe to see what can of person they are. They could seek to understand the person who they cannot easily comprehend. Sometimes, doing so can help us avoid mixing in with the wrong crowd. With people who do things that do not align with our values. Either that, or it could enable us to eliminate our doubts about the person and help us feel comfortable enough around the person to start interacting more with them. In the process, truly learning more about them and potentially forming a solid friendship. Simply pushing others away out of fear is something only a narrow-minded person would do. A coward.
Fear is not to blame. Fear does not necessarily breed cowardice. Instead, it can breed caution. I believe that fear is an essential emotion for us to have. It makes us cautious and prevents us from doing things that are too risky. It forces us to balance the risks and gains. While it is true that sometimes we do indeed need to take risks to accomplish certain things, that does not mean that one should simply be fearless and charge right into everything without thought. It is important to be able to face your fears and do what you need to. However, the instinct of fear is something we should not simply neglect. It is something we should consider when we take action. If we truly need to do something, the fear of not accomplishing the task would override the fear of whatever is standing in our way.
It is how we handle our fear that determines whether we turn into a coward or cautious individual.
If you are interested in watching Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, head on to RightStuf to get the DVD. Simply click here.
What are your thoughts on fear? Leave them in the comments below. 🙂