The Cause Of A Lie And Its Effect On Homeless People

Fear Of The Unknown

Fear Of The Unknown

(I really thought this post was going to be a short one.  Well, it’s not.  And it’s still a work in progress.  But I think I’ve got a good start on it.  Though I”m not sure just how long it will take me to finish it.  As it currently stands, I think it still worth reading.   I appreciate you taking a look at it.)

Ok, lets back up some. Where do lies come from? I believe they come from fear. Ok, then were does fear come from? It is said that we fear the unknown. Ok, so why is that?

My current favorite nugget of wisdom is found in a Bible verse about the nature of fear. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”- 1 John 4:18

Fear has to do with punishment. Hmmm. We humans pretty much consider anything bad happening to us to be a form of punishment. And when you think about “fear of the unknown” it seems we can make some connections here.

We fear the unknown because we expect something bad to come from it. Certainly, if a thing was known, we would take steps to avoid the bad coming from it. Like a deaf person walking along a railroad track…he never heard the train coming.   If he knew the train was coming, he would have moved in time.

Of course fear is mostly an irrational thing. Just because the lights are out doesn’t mean that monsters suddenly appear under the bed. But it is a very human thing for our minds to go that route. So it’s hard to blame a person for their fears; we all have them.  We may chide a child for harboring such fears, but adult minds work the same way. It is this fear function that drives us to pursue knowledge. Knowledge gives us the opportunity to overcome fear. Yes, the Bible says that God is Truth and God is Love. So, in light of the fore mentioned Bible verse about fear, things begin to make sense.  To my mind knowledge and truth are much the same thing, truth being the product of knowledge.

So, what does all this have to do with lies, you ask.

Whether we like to admit it or not, fear is always within us in some fashion or another.  We are always faced with some unknown. Of course, the first thing we do when encountering fear is to go through all of the knowledge we possess in order to come to an understanding of this unknown thing, and, in turn, reduce our fear of it.

So, what happens when our seemingly vast knowledge cannot comprehend a new unknown? Well, some people just accept this state of unknowing and leave it at that.  Perhaps they take comfort in knowing that someday the unknown will become known.  Or they have a believe that God takes care of the unknown for them. But others try to fill in the gap between what they know, and don’t know. They do this because something within them will not allow them such comfort.  They just cannot stand the fear that dwells within them. They mix truths from things related and unrelated from the subject at hand. This fear drives them to deny their lack of actual knowledge, and to lay claim to myths, superstitions and call it knowledge.  Unwilling to admit their lack of understanding, they make up stuff, and the lie is born.

So, now you ask, what does all this have to do with homelessness?

Today, we live in a very well ordered society, and riggedly defined life.  Throughout history, people have faced many fears and have overcome them, creating the legacy of knowledge on which we  stand.  From this vast amount of knowledge obtained, we have created a system by which, if we just keep to the system, working within the system, our lives will, for the most part, be fear free – that is, in relation to those who have lived before us.  Certainly, the relative lack of fear we enjoy today has granted us the freedom to achieve some pretty remarkable things.  Consider the moon, and all the myths and folklore attributed to it since the beginning of time.  Is it no wonder we would eventually send people to it?  For our efforts we have been able to relegate much of what we thought about the moon to the category of “superstition.”  We now know that the moon does not turn men into wolves, but we do know that there are some pretty cool rocks on it.

With all that humans gain by staying within the well ordered and well defined life carved out for us by previous generations, we wonder why anyone would ever not follow this well worn path.   And we do everything possible to keep ourselves, and everyone else, on it.  Beyond this path lies the unknown.  Certainly, nothing good could come from deviating off the path – we tell ourselves. 

Well, homeless people are not on the path.  This much is obvious by looking at the way they live. For whatever reason, they exist outside the well defined  and orderly lives that assure humans a meaningful and productive, and mostly fearless, knowable, life.  They reap almost none of the benefits that are granted to those on the path.

To people on the path (the homed people), homeless people are an enigma. Homeless people exist in the darkness of the unknown, far from the path.  People on the path tell themselves things about the homeless, things that are not based on any fact, because they have almost no knowledge of the subject.  These untruths, these lies, give the homed a certain sense of comfort.  They assuage their fears about homelessness this way.  Of course myths have a way of contradicting themselves.  So, it does behove these fear avoiders to not look very closely at their particular, less than factual, ideas about the homeless.

Ok…another break…will come back in a while to write some more here.


About Kevin Barbieux

I have been diagnosed as being chronically homeless. I write about my experiences and opinions of being homeless


  1. Pingback: Myths About Homelessness – Lies Continued « THE HOMELESS GUY

  2. Ivy

    Beautifully said. We do that with a lot of things we fear, distort the truth so it’s easier for us to deal with, or avoid.


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