In 1967, Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” hit the airwaves.
The hit, from their “Agents of Fortune” album was the basis for one of the top ten “Saturday Night Live” skits of all-time.
In 2000, Christopher Walken played a music producer who kept telling Will Ferrell the recording needed “more cowbell” and Ferrell complied, much to the chagrin of the other band members.
It’s a great bit.
But, I don’t want to discuss cowbells at this time.
Let’s talk about fear.
By definition, the verb means “an unpleasant emotion caused by being aware of danger; a feeling of being afraid; a feeling of respect and wonder for something very powerful”.
So while Blue Oyster Cult tells us “Don’t Fear the Reaper”, what about this concept of fear?
We humans have a few fears.
One in 5 of us have “social phobias” (anxieties).
Many of us fear heights.
What about bugs, snakes and spiders?
Of those three, the critter that makes me squirm is a centipede.
They reminding me of crawling moustaches.
Many fear “tight spaces”.
Claustrophobia creeps into my wind whenever I get into the crawl spaces beneath our house.
Put a centipede down there and I’m ready to leave…Pronto!
Other human fears include flying, the dark, blood and violent weather.
There are two other top fears.
Dying is one.
Mark Twain said, “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time”.
I like to consider myself a man of faith and while I don’t cheer for death, my beliefs have made me curious to life after it.
I realize that I really won’t know what happens after I take my last breath until that happens.
I am comfortable at this stage of my life to see how this “plays out” because the teachings and readings I’ve experienced have lead me to believe it’s gonna be fine.
So, I guess I can say I don’t fear death much less Blue Oyster Cult’s reaper, cowbell or not.
Then there’s the fear of getting a disease.
Now there’s a real cowbell ringer for today.
As deaths continue to decline from COVID-19, we still have those telling us to be afraid of the new variant and to keep masking up, washing hands and staying physically apart.
While COVID-19 was the 3rd leading cause of death in America in 2020, it claimed fewer lives than either heart disease or cancer, both of which I have.
Maybe that’s why I haven’t been as fearful of the coronavirus as others.
There’s an acronym for FEAR.
It’s “False Evidence Appearing Real”.
Some subscribe to that with regards to the coronavirus.
I think the virus is very real but some of the steps we’ve had to take while dealing with it have made me scratch my head.
The “mask-free zone” when we eat at a restaurant is strange.
There’s a quote that says, “Fear has two meanings; forget everything and run or, face everything and rise. The choice is yours.”
I think that’s what we’re coming to regarding mask mandates and such.
Right after “anonymous”, one of my favorite sources is “unknown”, who tells us, “Danger doesn’t lurk at every corner. It’s just hanging out, waiting for fear and horror to show up”.
Lest you think I’m being too flippant regarding the coronavirus, it may be due to the fact that I’ve lost many more friends and acquaintances to heart disease and cancer.
I’ve yet to see the CDC suggest we do anything as radical to contain them as we have with this flu virus.
What has muddied the water for me is the government involvement.
Years ago, Ben Franklin said, “Any society that will give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”
My family has played by the rules and we’ve been fine but we anticipate a day when things become a bit less-restrictive.
James Neil Hollingsworth became Ambrose Redmoon after a near-fatal accident at the age of 33.
He is quoted as saying, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”
American author Marilyn Ferguson says, “Ultimately, we know deeply that the other side of fear is freedom.”
Not all the great thoughts regarding fear come from authors and statesmen.
Yoda, of Star Wars fame says, “Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Pretty deep stuff for a little green character.
But the biggest selling book of all time, the Bible, offers this up on the topic of fear.
You’ve probably heard of “the wisdom of Solomon” who is King Solomon, son of David and King of Israel.
In Proverbs, chapter 31, verse 25, we read, “She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.”
American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.”
So that’s why I’ll wear a mask around you if you’re fearful but I’ll be more than happy to lose it if that’s alright with you, too.
Plato told us “Courage is knowing what not to fear.”
I don’t fear the coronavirus.
But if I see a coughing, feverish centipede in the bathroom, I’m outa there!