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On the day that I wrote about eleven things to give up last year, number two was fear.

Interestingly enough, the person I was sharing with yesterday asked me at one point what was I afraid of. I really had trouble answering that one, to put it into words.

I thought it over while driving home--driving long distances is a great time for ruminations--and it came to me that I believe that the human condition is basically one of chaos, neither good nor bad, but unstructured.

Human relationships, societies, religions, cultures exist to provide structure and context to our actions, moral frameworks via belief systems.

Social interactions are defined as acceptable, eccentric, or crazy by convention--a mutually agreed-upon spectrum of behaviors and speech as normal, anything beyond those boundaries is suspect or even more, insane by definition.

A breakdown of the social contract leads to chaos. And that is where my fears lie. I don't need to be in control of how people interact, of what society defines as normal, but I do need to have the structures intact and be able to trust reality. When N starts to hallucinate and act crazy, it scares me.

[By the way, some of the most profound science fiction has been written with the premise that after the Disaster, the end of civilization as we know it, how do humans survive? What happens to the human social, political, economic, family structures after the Fall when everything devolves into chaos?]

It was enough to keep me awake most of the night, thinking about it and what it means in my life.

A fear defined is a fear faced down. I feel much better today.

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