Monday, December 15, 2008

Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself

Last week I visited M.'s classroom to share a holiday tradition.  His teacher encouraged him to do all the talking.  Last night, while we were getting ready for bed he told he that he was quite nervous standing up there in front of his classmates and talking.  I told him that pretty much everyone is afraid of public speaking.

Me: "They've even done surveys about it.  It's the #1 thing most people fear."
M:   "Really?  It's not my #1 fear.  It's about 4th on my list."
Me: "What's your #1 then?"
M:   "Being in a plane crash over the ocean."
Me: "Well, it's been about 3 years since you were anywhere near the ocean in a plane and we were pretty safe.  Believe me, if there was any serious risk Mommy wouldn't have put you on the plane!  What's #2?"
M:    "Having my leg chewed off by a lion."
Me: "Not too many lions around here.  And they're not real fond of how we taste.  You know how I tell you not to eat dirt or boogers or other yucky stuff?  Lion moms tell their kids not to eat humans.  If you were a wildebeest or a zebra though, you'd have to worry.  What's #3?"
M:  "Going into outer space without an oxygen helmet."
Me: "That would be a problem.  Are you planning on going into outer space anytime soon?"
M:   "Mom! I'm a kid!"
Me:  "Are you planning to go without the help of NASA?"
M:   "They've got all the ships right now."
Me:  "That takes care of that fear, then.  Which leaves..."
M:   "Talking in front of a group."
Me:  "See?  I told you it was #1!"