I am afraid of the dark

‘I am afraid of the dark’ is a common sentence children say. Why are they scared? Is it the monsters under their bed? Is it the fear of the unknown?

You may think I have over-analysed a little child’s bedtime fears. But, in line with psychoanalytic beliefs, our childhoods shape us. And as adults we are more afraid of the dark now than ever.

Since the 9/11 terror attacks alongside the ever-evolving digital revolution, the lights have gone out and we are standing shaking in our bed-socks.

Yesterday, Home Secretary Theresa May spoke up in Parliament and urged for greater security following the Charlie Hebdo attacks at its headquarters in France. She argued that we must deny terrorists safe spaces to communicate.

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The Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks occurred as a result of satirical images, but they were also an attack on the freedom of expression and speech. Now, May wants to clamp down on terrorism by holding us all hostages. If the internet was not monitored enough, we’ll be living under constant surveillance. WhatsApp’s encryption is out of the company’s and our hands.

Fear. Fear is being instilled within us from all corners. Lying in bed looking at the distant future and dark hole of the universe – we are fearful. We are implicitly told to fear suspected terrorist attacks, a message we’ve been told since 9/11. And now our freedom of speech is wavering and so we fear what we say, who we say what to, and how we communicate the little we are allowed to say.

Yes we are most vulnerable when we do not know what is going to happen. But where is it all leading us to? What kind of a society are we creating? Are we all being reduced to being children lying in our beds constantly saying ‘I’m afraid of the dark’?

With technology shrinking the globe into small devices, we have the illusion of being together when really we are all so far apart. We need to come together and start behaving like neighbours rather than Facebook friends. And we need to stand in unity for liberty and peace.

We shouldn’t be afraid of the dark. We shouldn’t be scared of the unknown and what exists in the corners. We should be afraid of being alone in the dark – because while we sleep, those monsters standing in the corners may attack and they cannot be fought alone.

Whether you have said ‘Je Suis Charlie’ or not, essentially we are all One.

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