Jana Richman Blog -?? An edited version of this essay appeared in the New York Times Opinionator blog.
Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
"Let???s rephrase the questions this way: How much of my life am I willing to devote to fear? How much of my life am I willing to devote to the avoidance of death? And in the end, will it pay off? Will the hours spent avoiding death give me more hours of life? Or fewer? Will they give me a richer life or a diminished one? After all, it is the essence of death, the knowledge of the certainty of it that makes us human, that sets us apart from other animals. Do we lose some of our humanity in the process of expending so much time, energy, and money attempting to thwart death? What have we given up of ourselves in conformance to this fear-based approach to life?"