The concept of fear never sat well with me. In fact, I think I've always had a rather odd understanding of what it means to be fearful. I am a black, gay man born and raised in North Carolina (way below the Mason-Dixon line). I was raised to value great hospitality, good sweet tea, and of course, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I was brought up on all of the important things, I guess. The problem is that with all of that "southern upbringing," I was never really taught to process emotions properly. (A skill that would have been invaluable growing up in the south.) I didn't become familiar with the term emotional intelligence until my later years of college. My parents taught me discipline, and my father always told my brother and me to "fear no man except for [him]!" But what I didn't really understand until my post-grad "find your purpose" phase was that emotions are healthy and a natural part of this human experience. And fear is an emotion I struggled to understand for a considerable part of my life.