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The Psychology of Personal Terrorism – Overcoming Fear

Why are we not as inclusive as we could be? There are lots of reasons but mostly we tend to fear what we do not know and what we do not understand. We tend to fear honest discussions about gender, ethnicity and race issues because generally these issues are related to our personal fears about being exposed. The goal of terrorism is to produce abnormal fear through acts of disruption (violence) that send a high impact message to intended targets. In other words, terrorism limits the ability of the targeted to think clearly to produce abnormal fear. Terror conditions us to be afraid to go beyond the boundaries others set for us or those we set for ourselves.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15th, 1929. King Sr. observed he and his wife had no idea of King Jr.'s impending greatness until, as a teenager, he wrote a letter to the editor of a local paper which received widespread and favorable comment. MLK Jr. began Morehouse College at the age of 15 reading at the 8th grade level. The young Martin King understood even at that early age, terrorism and fear would hinder people from maximizing their potential. In August of 1946 the teenage King wrote a letter to the Atlanta Constitution most likely as a result of the lynching of a World War II veteran for voting in Taylor County GA and 2 black couples in Walton County GA.

Of fear, Dr. King said, "Normal fear protects us; abnormal fear paralyses us. Normal fear motivates us to improve our individual and collective welfare; abnormal fear constantly poisons and distorts our inner lives. Our problem is not to be rid of fear but, rather to harness and master it."

How will you master your fear? Share your thoughts here.

Dr. B

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