Fear can be the most devastating of all emotions. As newborns we have no awareness of it. But it soon creeps into our consciousness–we are ultimately alone in the world, totally dependent on others for our very survival. If we are fortunate, we have parents who support us emotionally, mitigating the power of fear.
If not, we spend the rest of our lives battling it. It is probably the source of all aggression and hatred as well. What we fear we hate. Rather than admitting that we fear the unknown ( ie: individual, culture, race, religion or country) we demonize the "other" and transform fear into hatred.
Genocide, wars, persecutions likely find their origin in fear transformed into rage.
Fear, unrecognized and unacknowledged, can keep us from reaching our highest potential.
Yet fear is not all bad. In fact it is, itself quite neutral.
Many have used fear of failure or abandonment to drive them towards success in personal achievement. Others recognize that fear alerts us to true danger and can, therefore, assist us in avoiding it.
But fear has another application. Its universality can be a source of awareness that we share its devastating power with all other beings. No one escapes its grip.
From that perspective, even the most "successful", wealthy, famous among us share this common human emotion. Even those we have deemed the enemy or "other" are no different from us in this essential regard.
We can offer compassion to all living, feeling beings. As the Buddhists refer to them–as sentient beings. All anger, arrogance, hatred, haughtiness can melt away in the face of this recognition.
Fear, so recognized, can be a powerful tool for healing.