Living in a Paranoid Society


Let me count the ways for which we need to take medication in order to sleep at night. Let’s see, there’s al-Qaida, mold, obesity, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, Middle East crises, nuclear weapons, droughts, mass shootings, global warming, major snowstorms, viruses, government gridlock, pollution, germs of various sorts and Wikileaks … just to name a few. I mean, just try to maintain a sense of humor as you consider these and those potential catastrophes that you can come up with and you’ll be capable of almost anything. We’re told just to live our lives in a normal fashion but that seems easier said than done. How is it possible not to become a bit suspicious as we go about living our daily lives even if we’re not aware of all of the specific threats that surround us?

I guess the answer is “not easily.” However, there are some people who can do just that. What’s their secret? I’m not sure that there’s just one secret but perhaps a combination of elements that allow them not to escape but at least to diminish the anxiety that most of us experience. One major element seems to be the well-engrained belief that life is to be lived to the fullest. That is not to say that life is one big party but that the emphasis is on living and not on the scourges that threaten our existence. It’s not really a sense of denial. Rather, it’s a deep belief in the value of life. Today we may be preoccupied with living into our nineties and looking like we’re in our thirties whereas fifty years ago, long before botox, people were able to enjoy some of the simple things even though they might pass in their forties and fifties. They weren’t consumed with purchasing the latest iPod model or whether it was going to rain today. Oh, yes, we’ve made great strides since then and have advanced in many respects but we’ve also left a good deal behind.

Another element I believe those who can bypass the fears of destruction is their need to love and be loved by quality human beings such as themselves. They don’t seem to focus on how well they can function sexually as much as how they can relish their relationships and the sharing that they experience. They aren’t like social gadflies who flit from one relationship to another in search of the quest of “what can you do for me today?” Instead they value intimate and friendship relationships while accepting any shortcomings that they may possess. They aren’t fearful of rejection and commitment. Should problems arise in their relationships they work them through in a sensible manner instead of looking for a way out. They don’t waiver in their convictions even if they may experience a lack of popularity among some.

A third element is that of character and confidence. Their character is sound and strong and is demonstrated in all areas of their lives. Their sense of morality and justice is clear but not close-minded to others who may not share the same beliefs as they. The strengths that they portray are admired by those with whom the come in contact that enables a sense of trust to be established. Their level of confidence can be sensed even by strangers they meet. That confidence is derived from the many experiences that they have encountered in their lives … some of which have turned out successfully and others that have not. They’re not afraid of making mistakes or of taking reasonable risks in their daily routines. They are self-reliant but are always willing to lend a helping hand to those who may require it.

They feel safe and secure not because of the material things that surround them but because of the sense of tranquility that they feel inside of themselves. Their sense of happiness comes from self-satisfaction and not from others who spend their lives trying to make them happy. They share their happiness with others and are always welcome into those circles of people who relish their presence. They realize and accept the fact that they can do nothing about those things in life that is beyond their control instead of fretting over them while wringing their hands. Probably the most important aspect of their makeup is their realization that life truly is a journey filled with both pain and joy and that perspective enables them to sleep well at night without medication.

(21 May 2014)

Both as a consultant and author, Charles Bonasera’s story-telling have motivated people to change patterns and resolve problems in their lives. All of his books contain valuable, practical lessons that people can easily apply to bettering and managing their lifestyles. He has also written a myriad of articles which can be found on his website at

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