Why Do People Fear Ideas?

Updated: Jul 22

Warning: By reading this blog post you are subjecting yourself to new ideas that you may disagree with. Proceed only if you respect the interchange of intellectual thought. Retreat if you are incapable of hearing ideas that differ from your own without spitting out every offensive name you can think of.

This post is a bit different than the ones you've seen lately. I hope you haven't forgotten that I not only speak on self-improvement, but also on individualism and liberty, which I feel are really a package deal.

I put that disclaimer at the top of this post because from what I've observed, consumers of content in this day and age seem to need that reminder. The reminder that respectful discourse can be had between two human beings with different ideas.

A question that came up for me after realizing this, which I can't seem to get out of my head is:

"Why do people fear ideas?"

I truly am pondering this question, because I trust my own judgment, so ideas don't scare me.

An idea, according to Merriam-Webster, is a "formulated thought or opinion."

As far as I am concerned, the human race is so interesting because of the plethora of different thoughts and opinions that people hold. Interacting with ideas that contradict our own helps us grow, develop our own values, and understand others.

The way I see it, when you come across a new idea, there are 4 courses of action you can take:

  1. You can agree to disagree and continue on with your day

  2. You can agree with the idea, as it may be similar to your own

  3. You can engage in civil discourse to voice your own opinion and engage in discussion with the idea sharer

  4. You can investigate further and decide if you'd like to adopt the idea as your own

Recently, I've noticed a 5th course of action that has appeared, which people are relying on heavily:

5. Silencing the idea sharer, while simultaneously attacking them

I share this observation as something I have experienced personally as an idea sharer when presenting ideas that are different from the norm.

My goal, which is far greater than this blog, is to create an atmosphere in educational spaces where individual thought is encouraged and appreciated. No individual should fear the mob's tsunami of shame drowning them during their intellectual discovery.

I will save further discussion on this topic for future blog posts, and will leave you with this:

The exchange of ideas is beautiful. We have the opportunity to see situations through different lenses, that we previously had not even considered. We are transported into the shoes of someone else, to experience their worldview for an instant.

The most fascinating part is after we return from our visit to someone else's idea, we can safely retreat back to our own beliefs, or we can choose to explore deeper and morph it into our own.

Thanks to individualism and liberty, the choice of how you proceed when encountering a new idea, is entirely up to you.

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