I shall not
engage and learn,
thus grow within
Sunday October 18, 2009
When I first began to think about this week's prompt, several common phrases popped into my head "conquer fear" and "conquered by love." The on-line dictionary gave the meanings of the word conquer as:
1. to acquire by force of arms; win in war: to conquer a foreign land.
2. to overcome by force; subdue: to conquer an enemy.
3. to gain, win, or obtain by effort, personal appeal, etc.: conquer the hearts of his audience.
4. to gain a victory over; surmount; master; overcome: to conquer disease and poverty; to conquer one's fear.
As I thought about these meanings and these common phrases, I became uncomfortable with the connotations. Is love that "conquers" really love? Should love subdue or surmount us? Should we really wish to master and overcome fear? Doesn't a certain amount of fear keep us wary and safe? If we think we have "conquered" fear, perhaps all we've done is driven it underground, suppressed it -- repressed it -- where it will surely do more damage that out in the open and recognized.
For other, worthier poems on the prompt "Conquer" see One Single Impression.