Fear number one. The fear of being undeserving. I was nothing in media. I was a doctor and then I just had this unreasonable rise to fame very fast, and I always fear that, well, maybe I was just lucky. I was a heart surgeon in Egypt, and then the Arab Spring came along, and the revolution came along. Suddenly it exploded, and I had my TV show and I became huge. And then all of this was taken away from me because after three years, the military government took that away, and I had to escape. I came here and I started all over again. I didn't really stray away from medicine because, you know, sarcasm comes from the Greek word sarkasmos which means to flesh, to rend, to dissect. It's a term that used by butchers when they had to dissect the meat off the bones. So that's where sarcasm comes from.
Fear number two. Being irrelevant. Like, this year I'm touring, I'm having shows, I'm doing live performances, I'm meeting with networks, pitching ideas, and they're listening to me. What if next year I have nothing?
Fear number three. The fear of failure.
Fear number four. The fear of getting fat. I always wanted to be fit and look good. And maybe the idea of being fat is more of a representation of me getting old. I don't want to be old and fat. So yes, I am one of those annoying vegans. I believe that actually you being dependent on animal products and oil and sugar and all of that is a kind of addiction. I mean, I was addicted to cheese and sugar and to meat, and I never imagined that I would ever switch. So, I kind of empathize with people not judge them. And I try to tell them, you know, if you're feeling fine, if you're happy, that's fine. But if you're complaining of having low energy, or bad sleep, or constipation even, why don't you try it?
Fear number five. The fear of being a disappointment to my kids. With the animal kingdom it’s just, like, they nurse them, and then they're on their way. But we, I think, never cease to worry about our kids. But we even worry about how our kids view us for the rest of our life.
Fear number six. The fear of uncertainty.
Fear number seven. Fear of the unknown. Mostly a global unknown. Global crisis.
Fear number eight. Being dependent on other people. A couple of years ago I had a slipped disc, and I was having problems going to the bathroom, and I was in a wheelchair for three days. It was a nasty injury, and now I know I don’t want to have this in my old age. I've witnessed my grandfathers and a grandmother going through a very slow, senile death. And then you see them deteriorating, and that leaves a mark on you.
Fear number nine. Shame.
Fear number ten. As an Arab and Middle Eastern, I'm afraid that something happens around the world that would eventually affect me. This is kind of a recent fear in the past three, four years. It's just, like, you know, being an Arab Muslim and Middle Eastern, it seems that whenever something happens around the world with, you know, with Islamist terrorists, people look at us, either wanting us to condemn it, or speak up, or you just find yourself being judged because of the actions of others just because they share the same skin color, ethnicity, and religion as you. And I think it's unfair, and I think I should not be required to act or respond to things like that the same way that white people do not have to really answer for every time a white shooter does something.
My name is Bassem Youssef and these are 10 things that scare me.