A life devoid of FEAR is a dangerous enterprise. A child must learn that hot coffee burns, a broken glass can cause a deep cut, and a tricycle is no match for a car. These FEARS preserve life. But do we have to FEAR everything?
HEALTHY FEAR OF AN UNBUCKLED SEAT BELT
Do you remember when seat belts became mandatory? Loads of people, including my own father, had anecdotal stories of how they would have died had they been wearing a seat belt. Dad had the misfortune of driving over the edge of a steep embankment and into the frigid ocean with his seat belt undone. The two passengers got out, but Dad went to bottom in the truck. He loved to tell us every detail of the story always emphasizing how he likely would have drowned if he had been wearing his seat belt. For the rest of his life, he drove around holding his seat belt unfastened so the Mounties wouldn’t get him. I do not support his point of view.
I’m curious, why do you wear your seat belt? Does it involve FEAR? FEAR of an accident? FEAR of getting a fine? I always fasten my seat belt for both reasons. I have been a passenger in a car involved in an accident and I believe my seat belt kept me safe and I have a well-founded FEAR of fines because I got caught ONCE. That’s like burning your money. Haha! Dad burnt up $1300-NO LIE.
FEAR is an integral part of certain industries. I have used the concept of insurance as an example. The basic premise of insurance seems to be deeply rooted in FEAR rather than protection. Are you prepared for a flood, a fire, a hurricane, an earthquake, a zombie invasion, a sewage back up, an infestation of termites?
Disability insurance paid off for me because illness forced me to leave my job and my short-term and long-term disability insurance kept food on our table. I have a small life insurance policy that I have paid into for years. This may be shocking, but although I am many things, I am neither independently wealthy nor immortal and will spend thousands of dollars to insurance companies before the end of my life. Who knows if I will make use of it? The insurance company is gambling I won’ take the risk.
FEAR OF INSURING THE MENTALLY ILL
I speak from experience when I tell you the insurance industry is heavily biased against me because I have mental illness and have been hospitalized for psychiatric reasons. Group policy insurance is possible, but I cannot increase the amount. Mortgage insurance is denied for the same reason.
And lastly, home insurance. Take a moment to ponder the percentage of customers who submit claims. In almost forty years, we have had one claim due to a faulty self-clean oven that created smoke damage. We have paid premiums of at least $40,000. Have you ever had an insurance claim? I am not suggesting cancelling any of your insurances, but it is always wise to be well-informed. What is actually covered by your insurance? Ignorance is not bliss.
Surprise, surprise, my dear old Dad had no property insurance because his dilapidated house was not up to code and he flatly refused to make the necessary changes. In spite of numerous chimney fires, the house stood there for at least 150 years.
“But, Mr. Roache, what if your house sustains heavy wind damage or, worse burns down?” the agent asks with fear in her voice.
With a smirk on his face, he replied, “Well, woman, it’s like this. I’m 85 years old and if the old place ain’t burned down by now, it never will. Mark my word.”
The safety violations were rife, but like most things that involved Dad, they require at least a whole chapter to explain.