47 Meters Down and Confronting Fear Directly
The moral case for not running from fear when you encounter it.
None of us like fear.
It's uncomfortable and painful and usually the reason why you're fearful is because there's something seriously dangerous around. Or at least we think there is danger nearby. People go out of their way to avoid it to whatever degree possible. We are even successful to some degree. A lot of us are fortunate enough to live in circumstances where we're never confronted by something terrible that is genuinely frightening. It's been a hallmark of a lot of societies to try and eliminate the scary things from our daily lives. The benefits of this are obvious. Not being fearful allows for other things to be of more concern. When fear has disappeared, we learn that our lives can be filled with all kinds of things.
However, there is a downside to this type of thinking. As we looked at previously, fear can be an important part of knowing what hope is, and vice versa. We've also considered that you can fear what isn't there or things we are worried are there in the dark. So in eliminating fear, we remove the possibility of learning these lessons. To be able to understand that fear isn't just something to avoid. It's something worthy of confrontation. Something you can take on directly and even enjoy. Which is part of the reasons why things like sky diving and mountain climbing are so thrilling to people. It confronts them not only with the possibility of death, but of the fear that it might happen.
Due in large part to our elimination of fear, we find ways to seek it out in controlled circumstances. Otherwise there isn't much value in doing so. One of the important things you learn when you're confronted directly with fear is the idea that it's okay to be afraid. That the fear isn't bigger than us. More than that we learn how much fear still controls our lives. In a situation like sky diving or rock climbing, when it's over we learn that your fear of losing your job or of the end of a relationship isn't quite as powerful as you once thought. So you learn to let these things go in the face of something truly terrifying.
47 Meters Down is very much about having to confront something truly frightening. Trapped underwater, Kate and Lisa, as played brilliantly by Claire Holt and Mandy Moore, are unable to find anything other than fear in their surroundings. Their fear isn't the unknown or what that fear is likely to cause them to do. It's the circumstances they find themselves in. Everything about their situation is necessarily terrifying. Running out of air, unable or unwilling to leave the cage, cut off from any guarantees of help, constantly aware of the very real threat of a shark, there's nothing but fear in such a scenario.
Despite their situation, they work towards some type of safety. While fear is there, it's not something they can let take them over completely. Because if they do, they're dead. There really is no other option for either of them.
There's a power in that, and it's fascinating to watch.
In addition, I would love it if you’d subscribe, whether it’s the free version or the paid version doesn’t matter, it’s going to mean a lot.