Rabindranath Tagore and his celebrated poem come to mind, as I see the theme for your prompt
Where the mind is without fear
and the head is held high,
where knowledge is free.
Where the world has not been broken up
into fragments by narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth,
where tireless striving stretches its arms toward perfection.
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost it’s way
into the dreary desert sand of dead habit.
Where the mind is led forward by thee
into ever widening thought and action.
In to that heaven of freedom, my father,
LET MY COUNTRY AWAKE!
Well, it’s not just the country, I wish this for the world.
There is another Indian mythological story about fear.
Once on a full moon day, Krishna and Balarama were walking in the forest, it was late and they decided to rest in the forest for the night. It was a dangerous forest, so Krishna suggested “Baladeva, you keep watch until midnight while I sleep, and I will be on watch from midnight till morning.” They both agreed and Krishna went to sleep.
A few hours passed, Krishna was sleeping sound. Balarama heard a growl at a distance, it was a terrifying sound. He walked a little further towards the sound. Now he could see a gigantic monster approaching him. The monster growled again, Balarama was very afraid, he trembled in fear.
Every time he trembled, the monster grew double in size. The monster grew bigger and bigger as it approached Balarama. Now the monster was standing very close to Balarama, it growled again. Terrified by the sound, size and terrible smell of the monster Balarama screamed “Krishna! Krishna!” and collapsed and fell unconscious.
Woken up by the call, Krishna followed the sound and found Balarama sleeping, Krishna thought, ‘It must be my turn now’ and started walking too and fro. Slowly Krishna recognized the monster standing nearby.
The monster growled at Krishna. “What do you want?” Krishna asked unafraid. The size of the monster decreased, it shrunk to half its size. “What are you doing here?” Krishna asked again and the monster shrunk again. Krishna kept questioning it expecting a reply, the monster kept shrinking every time he asked.
Now the monster was just 2 inches tall, and looked cute and adorable. Krishna took it in his hand and placed it in his waist pocket. The night passed and Balarama woke in the morning.
Balarama saw Krishna and joyously shouted “Krishna! Krishna!“.
“Krishna! you don’t know what a terrible thing happened while you were asleep. There was huge monster trying to kill us both. I don’t know how we survived, the last thing I remember is that I fainted.” Balarama said trying to recall yesterday night’s events.
Krishna took out the little monster out of his pocket and said, “Is this the same monster?“
“Yes, but it was so big! how did it shrink?” asked Balarama.
“Every time I questioned it, it shrunk in size, finally it became this.“
Balarama told Krishna how the monster grew yesterday every time he was scared of it.
Then Krishna concluded “Everytime we are afraid, our fears grow big, but every time we face them and question them, they become smaller and smaller.“
Thinking back on the past few weeks, many of us suspected that the corona virus is manmade, due to distrust of the country of origin, and its threats of biological warfare issued in the past.
Reports from 2017 about certain harmful organisms floating back into the world due to global warming and consequent melting of glaciers resurfaced. References to books of fiction, prophesies and old movie trailers are all floating around. I can’t rule out the fact that some of them may have been doctored to appeal to the dominant sentiment of fear. It is my distrust of content factories, again.
A report published by scientists yesterday, says that the virus is not manmade. It emanated from an animal, and has found its present shape by circulation in human bodies.
It has highlighted a lot of flaws – in administration of research labs, healthcare systems, vulnerability of the economy and our unpreparedness to meet a crisis. There are lessons to be learnt for sure.
But I pray for a fairyland without fear, where there are no monsters to challenge peace, and no battles to be fought. Amen!