Have you ever used toilets such as the ones deployed on camping grounds, nature trails and alike? Where you know you are standing atop of a large dig, filled with feces and other bodily fluids? If so, have you ever felt an irrational fear that you may, somehow, fall in? Even though there is no way you would fit through that hole in the ground? And if not yourself falling, have you experienced another illogical sort of panic — for example, that your mobile phone, tightly secured to your belt, or safely tucked inside your pocket, will suddenly gain a life of its own and leap onto that brownish appalling pool below?
Okay, I admit: I invented the expression Fallinphobia. I didn’t find any phobia word to describe this fear (though it is likely someone already named it.) Fallinphobia is one of those curious phenomenons I experience infrequently, and quickly discard of.
Why? Not why would I feel such an unreasonable concern, but why would I rush to ignore it?
By the same token, and not that this is intended to suggest a comparison: why would I pass by a stinking homeless person, and, instead of immediately being filled with divine compassion, I would feel rejection, disgust and a little fear? Am I not the good person I would like to believe I am?
I trust that the responses described above have nothing to do with logic or goodness; that it stems directly from a sense of self-preservation. That deep inside, I react to a fear that is embedded in me for the sole purpose of keeping myself alive and safe. If so, these reactions are actually natural, normal and healthy. What I do with them is another story. That is where morals, values and judgment come into play. Such encounters, and how I respond when not discarding my emotions, give me a chance to grow; to develop by instantly being attentive to how I feel, and then decide on a proper response. After all, trying to hug a homeless junkie armed with a knife may sound saintly, but may also be the last decision one will ever make…
On a more positive note – I didn’t fall into the hole, and my mobile phone made the smart choice of staying put, attached to my belt.
Learned from: a visit to the loo while hiking