There is a belief that institutions don’t play that much role in one’s behaviour growing up. It is, however, the belief that someone or something greater than us is watching over.
For instance, in religions, we are told since we were very young that God is watching us. Everything we do, He is watching over us. He knows every little sin we do, even think of.
Due to that, we learned how to control ourselves, put a brake here and there before doing anything considered ‘sinful’ or ‘stupid’, and behave.
It isn’t the institution, it is ourselves in the most personal way, fearing judgement from what or whom we cannot even see.
I talked with one of my best friends the other day about the difference between a fatherlike figure, say God, and a scary monster like Boogeyman.
I must admit that even till now, I still don’t dare to go to the bathroom at night because of Boogeyman. It’s silly, but hey, if the purpose of Boogeyman is to keep children from sneaking out or not going to bed on time, then it’s working. Obviously.
My friend told me that, in both cases, fear controls the children.
We tell a group of children that someone is watching them, and they will behave. We tell children Boogeyman might grab them at night and they stay in bed until morning comes.
Despite the fear leading to different emotions and ideas, it is still fear. It still successfully keeps children away from things they aren’t supposed to go after. It’s putting them into places.
And well, to be honest, they don’t turn out so bad.
Fear plays an important role in making sure that people do what is considered proper and good. People are afraid of doing things that are not considered normal because they do not want others to view them as weird or crazy.
Wherever we go, there is always fear of judgment.
People who are aware of consequences are those who make good decisions, don’t take risks, and stay in the line. It’s just as a child who stays in bed because boogeyman is out there, or a child who does not cheat on a test despite being able to, just because there’s an idea that someone is watching.
This planted fear then carries on throughout life, becoming habits, and shape people into what’s expected out of them. Well behaved. Well raised.
So fear isn’t a bad thing when you put it into a proper use, right?