While some fears may seem extreme, a 2020–21 study by Chapman University surveyed what made Americans “afraid” or “very afraid.” At the top of the list was “corrupt government officials” (79.6 percent), “people I love dying” (58.5 percent), “a loved one contracting COVID-19″ (58.0 percent), “people I love becoming seriously ill” (57.3 percent), and “widespread civil unrest” (56.5 percent) (“Government Corruption, Fear for Loved Ones, Civil Unrest Top Fears in America,” The Voice of Wilkinson [blog], Chapman University, October 14, 2021, https://blogs.chapman.edu/wilkinson/2021/10/14/government-corruption-fear-for-loved-ones-civil-unrest-top/). One common theme observed in this survey is that we are often afraid of people. As a culture, we’re afraid of other people’s actions and personal preferences. We’re worried about what people will think, say, or do to us, and how these consequences will impact our personal comfort and circumstances.
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