Some things look much different up close than they do from a far and safe distance. This change in perspective is what makes examining the world worth it’s while. It is also what makes life exciting and at the same time scary. This opportunity for the unknown. It is either what keeps us from exploration or what draws us in. It seems to me that many of the evils in our world come from a deep rooted fear and some will do everything in their power to not have to face it. Others will make their fears the reason to forge forward and defy them. The argument could be made that this is what divides us as people. Those that face their fears and those that succumb to them. But how does one make the distinction whether to go forth or hang back? I guess you could say it’s a matter of perspective.
A few days ago I had the opportunity to fly in a helicopter for the first time. It was a magnificent experience mostly because I was able to see parts of the California coast that I would not have been able to see any other way. Flying over the Pacific Coast Highway towards the Malibu Hills we had a front seat to the Pacific Ocean, the misty mountains, celebrity mansions and a lake I had not know existed. I gained a different sense of the geography along with a new take on the beauty of our beaches. What seemed average to having grown up in Southern California really looked majestic from that height. It undoubtedly provided me with a new outlook. What if I had been afraid to fly? It would have been a tragically missed opportunity.
Thankfully, scientists are not afraid to forge forward and put themselves in situations that could either be dangerous or risky to their reputation. What if Thomas Edison hadn’t been curious about electricity and therefore hadn’t invented the light bulb? Our progress in Western society might have been much different. In fact, the light bulb has also evolved a bit in that we now have many varieties in type, one of them being the LED light. Obviously, we use light to illuminate but what if it had hidden talents such as transporting sound? According to nasa.gov , “Light communication is not new. Its history goes back as far as the 1880s when Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, developed the photophone. In a demonstration in Washington, D.C. he transmitted speech using modulated sunlight over a distance of several hundred yards. This experiment even pre-dates the first transmission of speech by radio.” The idea behind revising this development is to try and create something called “LIFI”. Similar to WIFI, it would allow us to have a wireless internet connection by using LED lights. It is this kind of forward thinking that has to be fearless. You have to believe in an idea strongly enough to make a life’s work out of it, hoping that it’ll reap some results, ignoring the fear of failure and lost time. There must be a point in which you decide the work will be worth it.
In Episode 8 of DIMENSION Shondra goes undercover to get close to Samag Kim, Lou’s right-hand man. Shondra’s entire mission will revolve around changing Samag’s speculative perspective. He must let his guard down and trust her in order for Shondra to develop a relationship with him and carry out her mission. There will come a point when Samag will have to decide if he will face his fear of falling in love and it will be up to Shondra to alter his stance just enough that he will make this choice. What’s interesting is that love is what Samag wants most in life but in order to preserve his current lifestyle love comes as a threat.
Scientists must forge a strong love for what they do in order to go out there and do it. Deeper than the love for the science though, I believe it is our love for human kind that motivates us. Even the Duchess says it to Alice in the topsy turvy world of Wonderland:
“Oh, ’tis love, ’tis love, that makes the world go round!”
Alice in Wonderland
The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of fear is “An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat”. There are many things in life that pose this possibility but if no one ever faced this uncomfortable emotion then where would we be? Is this uncomfortable feeling so powerful that it overcomes the strongest emotion of them all, love? It might have kept us from having a space exploration program, or a free country in the United States or evolutions in music and art. Those people that choose to face their fears are the ones leading us towards something bigger. By their example we might choose to also face our own uncomfortable feelings so as not to sacrifice our happiness, or dare I say, the betterment of mankind.
Perhaps the victory would not be as sweet without the difficulty of fear standing in our way.