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  • Writer's picturePremanandhan Narayanan

The Illusion of Fear: Confronting Non-Existent Problems with Courage

A bus driver who has been driving the same route for over 20 years. Due to his long tenure, he has become familiar with most of his regular passengers. The driver, who is 40 years old and slim, encounters a new passenger one day who is of impressive stature, resembling Arnold Schwarzenegger. This passenger's name is Jack.





Every day, when Jack reaches his stop, he looks at the driver and confidently says, "Jack don't pay," before getting off the bus. The driver, being lean and intimidated by Jack's strong build, becomes fearful of potential confrontations. Even the other passengers lack the courage to question Jack about his unpaid fare.


This routine continues day after day, causing the driver to grow increasingly concerned. He resolves to put an end to Jack's free rides and decides to work on his physical strength. The driver starts going to the gym, hoping that by building his body, he can confront Jack with confidence.


After six months of regular gym workouts, the driver realizes that even if he continues this routine for the next ten years, he will never match Jack's physical prowess. Undeterred, he enrolls in karate classes, determined to acquire the necessary skills for self-defense.


Over the next six months, the driver earns several karate belts, adding to his growing confidence. With a combination of regular gym sessions and his newly acquired karate skills, he decides it is time to face Jack one-on-one. When Jack utters his familiar phrase, "Jack don't pay," the driver boldly questions him about why he refuses to pay while everyone else does.


To the driver's surprise, Jack calmly responds, revealing that he possesses a bus pass, which grants him free rides. In reality, there was no problem or threat from Jack at all. The driver had spent six months in fear, another six months in the gym striving to match Jack's physical strength, and yet another six months in karate classes to defend himself against a situation that never existed.


This story serves as a reminder not to let fear consume us or waste our time on non-existent problems. Often, our worries and anxieties are based on assumptions or misconceptions. Instead of allowing fear to control us, it is essential to approach situations with clarity, gather accurate information, and address issues directly. By doing so, we can avoid unnecessary struggles and focus our energy on what truly matters.


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