Fear is Old Technology

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My body screamed at me, “Mistake! Mistake! Mistake!” but it was too late. In 8 seconds I had already fallen more than 300 meters and in just 50 more seconds would collide with the earth 12,000 feet below me at 200 kilometers an hour.

My life was over. I would never hold her again. I would never splash in the waves with him barking behind me. I would never hear the wind through the trees. Feel the grass under my naked feet. Smell the morning stillness.

In 40 seconds it would all be over…35, 30, 25. With every second and every 10 meters the earsplitting scream of my heart was crying, “Mistake!”

And then at 4000 feet the chute opened and for 5 minutes I floated over the earth, watching the Bay of Roses grow larger, and at times, reaching my hand out to touch it.

As with all emotions, fear has evolved in the human species, but unlike other emotions, say love for example, is said to be one of the more primal emotions, being associated with more ancient parts of the brain. Fear was a good way to stay alive in the old days, when we first dropped from the trees and had a no place to hide. Grass was tall, and we little guys couldn’t see over it easily.

In that sense fear is an old technology. And as old technologies, it can’t keep up with the increasing pace of evolution. The idea is good, just as the idea that created that first phone we had when I was a kid, hanging from the wall. But now my phone is manufactured in China, bought in Thailand, carried to Spain, fits in my pocket and I can talk to anyone, anywhere in the world just about anytime I want to, watch lectures, read the news, you know as well as I do.

The idea of fear is good, but the application evolves. No I didn’t do a tandem jump in Empuriabrava, and I really don’t feel the need to, because fact is, every morning I wake up the doors of life are opened to me, the doors of evolution, the doors of change, and there is enough excitement in just getting through the day, and then after that, where that day will lead me.

Fear is real, but the system needs to be updated and modulated by the newest technologies, like love, trust, faith, like the ability to collect and analyze data, to look and listen further than ever before. To see the future, the opening of the chute.

In that sense she was right, “feel the fear and do it anyway.”

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