(Publilius Syrus, Sententia 270)
The benefits (of a thing) are not welcome to those for whom fear is a companion.
(pron = in-GRAH-tah soont beh-neh-FIH-kee-ah KWIH-boos KOH-mays ehst MAY-toos)
Comment:This proverb makes me think that on this note Publilius Syrus has
anticipated Maslowe. Maslowe created a model of how he saw human needs and
their effects on a human being's happiness. It is called a hierarchy because
each level depends on the previous on. The first human needs are physical
(food, water, shelter) followed by needs for safety, followed by needs to
belong and be accepted. After that the needs include esteem and
What strikes me is that on any one of these levels fear can insert itself and
paralyze the human process. Someone has noted that in Maslowe's hierarchy the
first three are needs that come from outside of one's self. To a certain degree
that is true of physical needs. At least food and water come from the
environment, but fear is something that we experience inside ourselves. So,
even if I have adequate food and water, but fear that I do not or will not, the
fear interferes with my ability to enjoy, to welcome these basic necessities.
Fear seems to me to be the "companion" that is always forced on us from the
outside by others or by circumstances. When a person or circumstance forces
itself on us, our reaction, if not processed, becomes the expeirience of fear
that will keep repeating itself, over and over again. Fear becomes our
companion. So, finally, fear becomes this internal merry-go-round that we are
caught on. And we are unable to enjoy, to welcome very little.
(Used with permission)
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