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Scaredy Squirrel

By Melanie Watt


Scaredy Squirrel loves his daily schedule! He likes doing the same thing day after day, and if it was his choice, he would never leave the safety of his tree –it is way too dangerous out there! But not to worry, if danger ever does come he is fully prepared with his emergency kit. Every day he just watches and watches and makes sure there is no danger coming towards his tree. But one day his worst night mare comes true! Danger! Scaredy is thrown into the unfamiliar, but finds himself pleasantly surprised with the outcome...

Guidelines for Philosophical Discussion

Scaredy Squirrel presents several philosophical themes. The issue of familiar and unfamiliar experiences is a theme that everyone has to face sometime in their life. This can cause anxiety and fear towards elements of the unknown, and it is often easier to stick to your daily routine and habits. However, it is often necessary to make changes to your routine if a situation arises that pushes you out of your comfort zone.

Scaredy Squirrel prefers to live his life according to a set routine every day. People can relate to this because it is simpler to follow a daily schedule than to challenge yourself with something new each day. This is a safe lifestyle; it does not involve a lot of risk because you do not have to step out of your comfort zone. However, there are always going to be situations that are out of your control, no matter how much you prepare for it. Scaredy Squirrel had an emergency kit that he had readily at access in preparation for unknown situations. Though, when an unexpected situation did arise, Scaredy Squirrel dropped the kit and had to face his fear of the unknown. Is it always beneficial to be prepared? Are there any situations where it would be to one’s disadvantage?

The unknown is a common source of fear for many people. In Scaredy Squirrel, he was terrified of the possibilities that he was unaware of. He created irrational fears, such as killer bees, tarantulas, sharks, germs and green Martians because he wanted to justify his fear of the unknown. Another self defence method was how he set up a schedule and lived religiously by it, this way creating an environment where he never put himself in a vulnerable situation. How do we create these safe environments? Today we often face fears and create a barrier between ourselves and the unknown. People would much rather stay in their comfort zone than extend into an environment that they could not control. People find it hard to put themselves in a vulnerable situation. Why do you think this is?

Why is it important to try new things? In Scaredy Squirrel, once he was pushed out of his comfort zone and forced to do things differently than he was used to, he discovered that he really enjoyed it. He also learned new things about himself that he would have never found out without trying. He finds out that the unknown is not as scary as he thought it was. It is only when you step out of your comfort zone and face your fears head on that you are able to grow and develop as a person. Why is it important to grow and develop as a person? What are some reasons you think it is important to step out of your comfort zone for?

Questions for Philosophical Discussion

Being Prepared

  1. Why do you think having a set routine is a good idea? Are there any negatives to doing the same thing every day?
  2. Do you have a set routine? What types of things do you do every single day?
  3. What types of things do you have to be prepared for? Do you think it is important that you prepare?
  4. Are there any things you cannot be prepared for? Would you fear those things if they actually happened to you?
  5. Can you over prepare? When you over prepare, do you tend to create irrational fears towards the situation you are preparing for? Why?

Being Scared

  1. What scares you? Why does this scare you?
  2. How do you feel when you are scared?
  3. What things do you do to help make you less scared?
  4. Why do you think people have fears?
  5. How can people be scared of something they have never experienced? Are you scared of anything you have never experienced? Why?

Trying New Things

  1. Do you like to try new things? Why do you think that is?
  2. Why do you think Scaredy squirrel feels so good when he tries something new?
  3. What are some things you wouldn’t want to change in your life?
  4. Have you ever tried something that you were afraid of, but realized it was not as bad as expected? Did those fears, that you thought logical at the time, seem irrational after the experience?

This book module deals with ethics. You can buy this book on Amazon.

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