Pinky Pie

Fear, a wolf & Me

Posted on: July 3, 2011

We’ve all grown up with the big bad wolf either wanting to blow our house down or to attack Little Red Riding Hood. Wolves are always big and bad.

That may be why the thought for a day on a friend’s page caught my eye: “Fear makes the wolf appear bigger.”

I liked it immediately.  I Googled the expression and learned it is an old German proverb. I also discovered a bunch of blog posts related to it, including one with a bunch of exclamation for what it means, including http://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/90grd/fear_makes_the_wolf_look_bigger/

Suggested meanings on that site include:

  • Kill all figurative wolves by opposing the acceptance of greed.
  • Fear also keeps the local systems in line.
  • By being afraid of the wolf, your imagination will make you think the wolf is bigger, meaner, more evil than it really is.
  • I think the wolf is the “terrorist” and that we fear them, and so we over-react and are willing to subject ourselves to constant surveillance, reduced liberty, etc.

“Fear makes the wolf appear bigger” reminds me of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

It illustrates the reality that fear feeds on itself. The more you fear, the more you fear. It can be overwhelming and contagious.

Remember how frightened so many were about the new century?. Everything was supposed to fail technologically because computers had not be programmed for years that would start with 20 instead of 19. Some folks predicted nothing would work and we would take up arms and be survivalists to protect our families.

The clock struck midnight on December 31, 1999, and we had heat, our cars worked and life went on.

If I wanted, that wolf could have appeared mighty big after my diagnosis of breast cancer. I decided I didn’t want to live my life that way. And now I like to say, “cancer is in my rear view mirror and hopefully is not closer than it appears.”

Or, hopefully bigger. I like my wolves small.

Mau Mau, a graffiti artist, painted this vision of one wolf and little red riding hood for the Cans II festival. Photo by Alan Bee.

1 Response to "Fear, a wolf & Me"

I sent the kids off to college with a framed quote from their great grandmother. We hoped it would keep that wolf at bay.
“All the things that cause worry and fret are the things that haven’t happened yet.”
I often find myself repeating this to keep the wolf from devouring me.

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