Imagined Fear : We dislike what we imagine

“People hate people they don’t meet before. Once they’re real they’re not so scary anymore. That’s just imagined fear.” Yenny Wahid in Ubud Writer Festival 2018

Against the odd. That’s the topic Yenny Wahid talked in UWRF 2018. The odd, for some people Yenny can be categorized as the odd in Indonesia. Her critical thinking as one of founder of Wahid Institution and of course one of briliant daughter of the former president of Indonesia which is also a important figure is one of foundation for our country development. Some people may hate ‘the odd’ and the others love it, but you can deny that the oddness whatever it is building our country and nation.

Speaking of which, one of interesting thing that she mention national survey were conducted by Wahid Institute and LSI which resulted some of the most disliked group of people in Indonesia. It’s interesting how she mention the fact that the top three of the most disliked group in Indonesia is the one Indonesian don’t know or even never meet before. The top three are LGBT, Communist and Jewish which by the way you can read more here.

“People don’t say that they’re a communist. In Indonesia, people don’t come out of closet. And how many percentage of Jewish in Indonesia?”

As she said in these research they were some group like Shia, Wahabi or even Chinese but they never make to the top three. How could it be. She mention what called as ‘Imagined Fear’, people tend to fear what they don’t know before. It reminds me one of Marthin Luther Jr famous quote that ‘Men often hate each other because they fear each other’

People. They don’t fear each other but their imagination of those people. She also said that once these group of people become real (e.g Chinese, Wahabbi, etc), they’re not so scary anymore. That’s what I called the odd of Indonesia. The funny yet intriguing of Indonesian.

She coined a term of ‘Imagined Fear’ which is for me, super interesting. People imagine these group of people they just simply dislike. They haven’t even meet them, let alone about knowing them. And generically speaking, these Imagined Fear isn’t in the term of disliked group of people, but basically in everything.

How could it be? Maybe we can blame it on human brain called amygdala that identifies where will it be an attack, and how they protect us physically and mentally speaking. These tiny human cell sometimes very much wrong what they called threat , so they imagine the worst of all. And these are the imagined fear we’re talking about. It’s just natural that human protect themselves from any danger even if it’s false one. That’s the odd of human brain.

At last, we’ve perceived what we want to see. In the terms in biological speaking it’s perfectly normal. But we are all human, what do make us better than any other animal that we can choose to use brain other than to survive.

Some people are getting priveleged to understand things, and others don’t. That’s the odd of people and posibbly the odd of Indonesian. We are the oddness. So, why do we hate each other? that’s the question to think of for you and for me and myself.



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An amateur storyteller and featured enthusiast