Epidemic of a Senseless Paranoia
Senseless Rehearsing for a Danger
It's been said that "a coward dies thousand deaths - a brave man only once". Now, it's not suggesting that a real threat is a laughing matter, or that all of us should by some magic turn heroes.
However, we don't have to practice cowardice either by being in a constant state of alarm over an imaginary threat, and even seeking all "evidence" of its possibility by getting inspired with daily news, local and global.
A thought of some terrorists invading my home feels me with chills, but ask me if I am planning to keep that thought in my mind. It immediately gets classified as "mental garbage" and gets promptly disposed of, just like any other thought or impression that's not making any sense.
A Trigger-Happy Alarm
Long time ago, in a course of observing human nature, and mine in particular, I came up with a conclusion which I used to call "un-scare principle". It simply states that things are never as bad as we naturally tend to see them.
When I say "naturally", I mean that knee-jerk reaction which tries to think for us before we do any thinking. Unfortunately, most of the folks on this planet don't have an "educated survival instinct", so they stay with that knee-jerk thinking allowing it to think for them.
They don't even notice how that feeling of unsafety is increasingly hijacking their reasoning power, contaminating their worldview with a sense of an imminent doomsday hovering like a time-bomb over the globe.
There Is Money in Fear
I don't have to tell anyone, but reminding may be in order that there is a whole cultural machinery of well paid alarmists cashing in on human fear. From the news media to religions scaring the folks with hell, to our garden variety of doomsday conspiracy theorists promising us the end of the world from year to year, and never embarrassed that their dark prophecies keep failing to happen.
Guess what, they know that scared folks can't resist reading their renewed edition of something cataclysmic coming, because the wording is always bombastic enough to trigger that knee-jerk reaction - the one that replaces rational thinking.
Then, as if they are not enough, we got our politicians to create some real enemies in the world by sticking their noses into matters that are none of their business. Or business it is - oil, gaining strategic advantages in different global regions, all the way to installing a silly version of a democracy into societies that don't know how to handle it - just like we don't.
A Pandemic of Paranoia
Nevertheless, our reactions to all that are greatly exaggerated, because our imagination is fast to turn a local event into a global one. What's wrong with people - do they really enjoy tormenting themselves with this paranoia?
As if foreign threats are not enough for their dark imagination, now they are making boogie-men out of their own presidential candidates. Who is next? Police force? Mailmen? Boy Scouts? You think I am joking?
No, I am not, when fear settles in, it will pick just about anybody to feed itself in a perpetual process of producing public rumors of a danger and reacting to their own words. It's becoming a pandemic of stupidity, as everyone seems to contribute with their own version of how "all of us are going to die soon".
Still Alive and Kicking
At the end of the last world war the horrors of it stayed fresh in minds of people in devastated Europe that was hit the most, but guess what - despite all that the world started celebrating the new beginnings. Everybody was simply happy to have stayed alive.
Just like we are still alive despite 9/11, and despite those other few very local tragedies of terrorism. Think of it folks - if it's all about a prospects of a premature dying, a terrorist attack should be our last worry, because that worry itself is systematically and slowly weakening our immune system, and you don't want to see the list of what can follow a weakened immunity.
The crazy irony of everything is that more people die in the combined numbers of traffic fatalities, in medical negligence and malpractice, and in violent crimes - than in any of those terrorist attacks.
So, if you really insist on being scared, don't sit in your car, don't go to any hospitals or see any doctors, and buy yourself ten more guns and wear a bulletproof vest for all those chances of being a victim of a violent crime.
A Mass Psychological Suicide
Just like a happy dude will find a "reason" for his happiness in any small thing, so is a scared dude bound to find all bunch of reasons to scare the crap out of himself. It's like putting a cart in front of horse, as we don't realize how we are not really dealing with any cutthroats but rather with a fear that placed them into our minds.
We all get horrified by the news of some foreigners being beheaded in the Middle East. But our good news-makers don't bother ever mentioning how in our friendly Saudi Arabia bloody executions are a regular feature of public life. So it's O.K. for our friends to do it, but terrorists make us shake in our pants.
Is the west turning into some sort of a moronic mentality? No one is after our asses. Life is good, and we should stop committing psychological suicide by poisoning our bodies with adrenalin, cortisol, and a whole bunch of other threatening chemicals in our bodies that flood our cells with a constant stress.
Living Happily or Dying Defensively
Our body cells have basically two models of functioning - they either renew and heal themselves, or they defend themselves. Do you know that the process of healing stops right in its tracks the moment when we shift the gears into a defensive mode? All energy is mobilized to ward off the threat.
Now, it's another simple fact of physiology that our bodies can't tell the difference between a real and imagined danger. They also don't have any sense of humor, so even if you talk about dangers in a funny way, some of that defensive reaction is bound to be ignited.
You tell me, isn't all that enough of a reason for every sensible human to stop practicing unsafety in their minds? For even if such a moment of danger would ever befall us - isn't it so much better to have a good set of nerves to deal with it, rather than the one that's all ruined by a morbid imagination and bad body chemistry? You be the judge, don't take my word for it.
Knowing about "Possible" Dangers Parading as a "Fix"
With that negative addiction telling us how to use logic against ourselves, we may be calling "dreamers" those folks who dare to find some joy in life and insist upon an optimistic mindset. I tried to reason with a few of such negatively minded individuals, and it never stops amazing me how religiously they stick to their convictions of "everything going down in this world".
It seems impossible to open their eyes to the reality of good things by far outnumbering those bad things in life and in the world. There is also an awful lack of a pragmatic spirit in such folks, as they can't see how absolutely nothing gets accomplished by thinking negatively.
When I ask them : "O.K., what are you planning to do about this terrible situation in the world?", they seem offended. "It's not about doing something, it's about being aware of what's going on." Terrific!
Let's Cool It Down
Indeed, how does that negative awareness translate into something useful in life? I can understand watching a violent movie to entertain ourselves, without an intention to inspire ourselves to go buy an M-16 and mount it on our roof - for "just in case" that something in that movie might become real.
But it's fiction, and every other "danger" that's not happening is fiction, nothing more than that. Those 6 billion humans out there are predominantly living normal lives, and those few isolated mishaps happening daily are not to paint the whole picture in black.
Just like we don't look at other drivers as potential killers, we should not look at every ordinary dude wearing a turban as a terrorist, or every black person as a criminal, or every mother-in-law as a threat to the institution of marriage. Come on, folks, life is safe all until we die, but let us not rush to it by destroying our happiness and our bodies before it happens naturally.