Monday, June 3, 2013

With Reduced Mobility, More Stuck Fear

Fear is situational. A person who has a fear experiences the fear in some situations but not others. In part, fear attaches to places. Fear tends to get stuck in the places where frightening episodes occurred. One way fear is released — not the primary way, but nevertheless important — is when people leave places and go to new places. This happens especially when people change residences and jobs.

But these changes are happening less often than usual now with the reduced career mobility of the past 8 years and the reduced residential mobility of the past 6 years. The conditions of the larger economy is leaving more people than usual stranded where they are now.

This makes fear a greater presence in the world now — perhaps more likely to occur, but certainly more likely to persist in an individual’s life. When people get stuck because of the state of the economy, their fears may also get stuck. One part of the larger economic puzzle in front of us is a need to reduce the influence of fear on people’s lives.