You’re Under Arrest

March 12th, 2012

One of my favorite subjects is conquering fear. I’m fascinated by fear, because I believe it’s the source of most problems. I came across a quote from French philosopher Simone Weil, and got to thinking about something hilarious and enlightening.

One night when I was 6 years old, I called the police. I didn’t have a plan for what I would talk about, I was just excited to talk to a cop. (My dad and I loved watching Barney Miller.) A woman answered, and I said, “Hi! I need to speak to a policeman! I just saw a crime.” After a long pause, a man came on the line, speaking in a very authoritative voice: “So, tell me what happened.” Me: “Uh, um… I s-saw a man running! Down the street! From our neighbor’s house!” “What makes you think it’s a crime?” “He… he was holding our neighbor’s wallet!” After a pause: “We’ll come check it out, but if you’re not telling the truth, you KNOW you can go to JAIL, right?” A loooonng pause on my end. “Sure!” “Ok,” he said, ” see you soon.”

I was horrified. I stared out the window all night, waiting for the cops to show up and take me away. For months, if I heard a police siren, I would hide. I literally thought I was a fugitive. It took a long time before I realized they had forgotten about me, and even longer to realize it had been a joke.

I still blow things out of proportion in my mind with worry. I’m wrangling with the bank over a payoff agreement on a loan, and that little girl is BACK, imagining being thrown into jail with a bunch of ruffians. I want to hide under the covers every time I see the Wells Fargo logo!

Google Simone Weil for some intelligent insight. Love this quote:

“Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.” — Simone Weil




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