MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE EXTREME CONCERN ABOUT HOW WE LOOK.
In extreme cases, the fear of public opinion could lead to ALLODOXAPHOBIA which comes from the Greek words ‘allo’ meaning different, ‘dox’ meaning opinion and ‘phobos’ which comes from the Greek god of fear. People with fear of opinions phobia live in constant fear and anxiety of hearing people’s opinions about them. This is now the disease stage of public opinion. The diagnosed stage of the fear of public opinion.
At this stage the individual is not simply conscious of public opinion, but he become intensely aware of both the real fears and the presumed fears of the public opinion. It becomes a mental and psychiatric disorder. It could get to the point where an individual refuses to come out of the house, because of the fear of what people think about him. It could get as bad as a person not willing to talk to any individual around them for about a year or two or three. This situation could lead somebody to want to just remain indoors all the time. As bad as not even going to take a shower or going to the grocery store.
Thank God this extreme manifestation of the fear of public opinion is not what is witnessed on a regular basis with ordinary people, still the consequences of the fear of public opinion is bad enough even without allodoxaphobia. Even for ordinary people who are conscious of public opinion, the fear of how others think about them is a constant companion. The pressure and the control coming from constantly being considerate of what other think about me, is a burden not desirable to carry through life.
“A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows the public opinion.” – Grantland Rice
A lot of people are extremely concerned about how they look. I was 35 years old before I realized that some ladies would not come out of their bedroom without having their makeup on. To have them come to open the door for you in the morning is a whole challenge. They keep you waiting by the door for about 15 minutes to an hour, because they want to look perfect before they open the door. That tells us how powerful public opinion is. I learnt this lesson the hard way.
I flew into South Korea with one of my assistant pastors who was an older lady. My bag was accidentally taken to her hotel room. After realizing this fact, I decided to go pick my bag, because I had my personal belongings and clothing inside. When she realized I was the one at the door, she was adamant at not opening the door. I was bewildered and I asked why she won’t open the door for me to take my bag. Her excuse was absolutely outrageous to me. She said she had washed off her makeup for the evening before going to bed, and she was not going to put it on for the night, so I had to wait till the next morning to get my bag. As a gentle man, I had to go and exercise longsuffering till the next morning.
To be continued tomorrow with the following points:
- Why many are overly concerned with what people say about them
- Why we should smile about things that normally would worry us.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CHURCH AND NATION