Call me arrogant. Call me blind. Call me careless, defiant, or egregious. But don’t call me stupid. Don’t call me unprepared. And definitely don’t call me out on coming out.
It’s come to my knowledge there’s only one human emotion from which all others are born and construed: Fear. It makes sense with sufficient thought, of which I’ll try to abridge adequately here: Sadness is but an amassing of worries and anger is the fight side of flight or fight–the fear response. And happiness? Simply the momentary alleviation of fear.
It’s all best illustrated through relationships, especially those of the romantic kind. When John cheats on Cindy and she’s furious with him–she’s only afraid she’s not good enough, that he’ll leave her and she’ll be alone. When Carl missed Joe while he’s at work, Carl’s only worrying what might happen if Joe doesn’t come back, if something terrible happens along the way. And when all of them are comfortable and happy in bed, their fears are for the moment set aside and they feel intimately content.
And if fear is the root of all human emotions, courage is its only cure: Merrian-Webster defines courage as the “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty,” citing it’s ultimate origins in the Latin “cor,” meaning heart. So when we’re afraid and drowning in our fear, our only anchor is truly to take heart and swim to the surface.