Monday, November 14, 2011

Love and fear: the petals and thorns of skateboarding

Love and fear are the fundamental emotions within the human heart. They pretty much underpin all human behaviour. When one gravitates toward something, 'love' is the driving force, when repelled by something, fear is behind the scenes.

These qualities have many ways of expressing themselves: strong or weak, selfish or selfless, passionate or mellow, etc. Thus sometimes love is termed 'attraction', and fear, 'repulsion'; sometimes love is called 'interest', and fear, 'disinterest'; and at other times love is 'appreciation' and fear, 'reverence'. When one's repulsed by something it's because he fears the discomfort the object may cause him. When one is disinterested, he fears that engaging the object will cause him to miss more important and desirable things, to waste time, or be bored. Appreciation and reverence are more refined and civilized forms of the two qualities.

Love and fear are entwined and virtually inseparable. There can be no fear without love. A person fears injury because he loves himself and desires his own well being. One fears for the safety of his own children because he loves them. This is one reason that he feels more fear when his own child crosses the road than when an other's child does: simply, he loves his own children more.

Often one love is in conflict with another love. When a person has a choice between chicken and beef main courses and finds it difficult to decide which he'd prefer, it is because he 'loves' both and fears that in choosing one he has to miss out on the other. A similar process takes place on a higher 'octave' when one desires to give charity to one of two favoured organizations but can't decide which to donate to. 

Sometimes specific fears conflict with each other. Should one visit the dentist or suffer from a toothache? Both alternatives evoke fear in many people. Often an individual procrastinates making a choice until he feels compelled to take one. Many people engage in diversions in order to avoid dealing with fear/fear conflicts.  

Sometimes love and fear are in conflict. One may love and fear the same object, albeit different aspects of it. Take the rose for example. Its charm and beauty is alluring and attractive, yet its prickly thorns arouse caution. In approaching a rose one feels both love and fear. As a general rule, the further an individual is from an object or event the weaker are his love and fear of it. And, as he comes closer, his feelings swell more and more. However, love tends to predominate when one is still at a distance, while fear increases more sharply as one comes closer, often overriding love and resulting in the abandonment of the object of love.  
                                                                                                                                                                       This is a much repeated experience when skateboarding, for skateboarding tricks are at once highly alluring and desirable, yet also dangerous. From a distance one may imagine oneself executing an amazing trick and feel strongly motivated to do so in actuality. Yet, as one rolls up to perform the trick, the height of the stairs or the solidity of the concrete cause one's fears to escalate and pressure one to bail. This process reinstates itself almost every time a skater wishes to progress to a more difficult level of performance. Indeed, skateboarding comprises elegant petals and prickly thorns. To skateboard is to approach a gorgeous rose.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

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