The Habit of Fear

In a recent episode of the BBC podcast From our own correspondent I heard a segment by Kevin Connolly contained a quote worth remembering:

One middle-aged woman told me, at the beginning of this last revolution in the battered centre of the city of Benghazi, that she thought the worst thing about living under a dictatorship was that it made you ashamed that you did not resist, that you were not a hero.
“You pass the habit of fear on to your children,” she said.

The habit of fear.

This position reminds me of another quote, this time by Salman Rushdie from his book The Moors Last Sigh

By embracing the inescapable, I lost my fear of it. I’ll tell you a secret about fear: its an absolutist. With fear, its all or nothing. Either, like any bullying tyrant, it rules your life with a stupid blinding omnipotence, or else you overthrow it, and its power vanishes like a puff of smoke.

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