Opinion

Fears are rational and can save lives

SSSCARY SSSITE: Our fears can help us deal with scary situations.
SSSCARY SSSITE: Our fears can help us deal with scary situations. Bev Lacey

I CHANGE my mind fairly frequently. I mean, don't we all?

When was the last time you started a football match rooting for one team…only to change your mind, as soon as they fell behind?

When was the last time you had all the best intentions to go for a jog…only to change your mind when you remembered Home and Away was about to start?

And when was the last time you set out for Woolworths thinking all you needed was a frozen packet of vegetables and some washing powder…only to change your mind and come home with a family block of chocolate as well?

I know the McGovern family is all too guilty of the latter…

However, never have I done the unthinkable crime when it comes to changing minds: doing it publicly.

So publicly, in fact, I've changed my mind altogether on the subject of last week's column.

See, I was wrong: fears - yes, fears of spiders, toads and whatever other eight-legged, wart-covered or just generally horrifying creatures one might be afraid of - are more than rational.

Quite simply, they save our lives.

In another adventure out to mum's workplace this week, we faced even more adversity.

We had forgotten the toad.

We had forgotten the spider.

In fact, we had forgotten our fears in general, and were ready to show that place who was really boss, once and for all.

Then we saw the snake.

That's right. It got worse.

Mercifully, this snake wasn't curled up in a tarp that needed to be moved from point A to point B, but it was there, nonetheless.

And, dare I say it, without wanting to share yet another fearful tale of dangerous creatures, our inabilities to deal with them and subsequent tears, our fear of the little brown creature… may well have saved our lives.

Last week, my father made a good point: to be brave, you need to be frightened in the first place. After all, if you're not frightened, you're not really being brave.

A wrestler half the size of his opponent is not being brave if he charges worry-free into the ring.

That's suicide.

A soldier at war is not being brave if the bullets zipping past his helmet don't concern him.

That's suicide.

And for those of you who have seen The Hobbit, Bilbo's attempt to fight an orc 10 times his size - while brave, granted - was "hobbicide".

The point is, had mum and I not been scared of the evil that lay within that fateful black tarp with the toad, the spider and the overwhelming stench of fear, bravery was never a possibility. Instead, our fears inspired us to be brave for each other. We deserved a medal that day…if only a plastic one from Solly's.

But see, real bravery medals are not won by men risking their lives without concern for their own safety; they are won by men risking their lives with even more concern for the safety of others. That's bravery.

Sure, that spider on the tarp a few weeks back probably shouldn't earn me a Victoria Cross. And brave as I thought mum was, I don't think she deserves one either.

Topics:  blogs jack mcgovern opinion the world according to jack



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

'He's my house deposit': bulk bill IVF welcomed in Bundy

'I WORKED THREE JOBS': Krystal Templeton with her son Marty.

"This,” Krystal says holding a smiling Marty, " is my house deposit”

Bundy dad to be behind bars for Christmas

Man's matter adjourned until February

Woman to stand trial for armed robbery

A 35-year-old woman will stand trial accused of robbing a man at knife point inside his East Bundaberg unit.

Sarah Kay Adelle Winchester fronts the Bundaberg Magistrates Court

Local Partners

Rob's off to start a fresh new chapter

AFTER more than three decades delivering fruit and vegies to loyal customers across Bundaberg, Robert Ward is packing up his ute and retiring.


Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

What's on: Saturday, December 3

Not sure what to do today? We've got you covered

Head to the sugar museum for a sweet taste of history

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the revamped Sugar Museum at Fairymead House is Mayor Jack Dempsey and Fairymead House Team Leader Hayley Vale.

Learn about the industry that made Bundy what it is

How predictable are your Netflix habits?

Stranger Things is taking the world by storm as a new-age nostalgic Sci-Fi Thriller

The new entertainment binging pattern

Kanye West is on the mend now he's back from hospital

Kanye West is more relaxed since returning home from hospital

WATCH: The young Aussie actor playing Barack Obama

A screenshot of the trailer for Barry, a new film from Netflix.

Aussie teen nails Obama's early university years

Boy George named as a coach on The Voice Australia

Iconic pop star Boy George is to appear as a coach on 'The Voice'

The first Baywatch trailer is here, and it's hilarious

From left, Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera in a scene from the movie Baywatch.

DWAYNE Johnson and Zac Efron star in TV series reboot.

Sir Mick Jagger a dad again at 73

Mick Jagger... dad again at 73

Ageing rocker obviously still getting Satisfaction

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!