Friday, November 28, 2008


What is wrong with our world? I know that things are not exactly great right now. We are involved in two wars that we cannot win. Our economy is in the toilet and no one seems to know how to fix it, or even if it can be fixed. There is turmoil all over the world. Our families are going to pot. There is a consistent (constant?) threat of terrorism everywhere we go. All of this leads to what I call an atmosphere of fear, or an atmosfear.

In America we elected a new president, from a different party than the current administration, and we all celebrate and look forward to one of the greatest signs of American freedom and democracy: the peaceful transition of power. The whole world is celebrating a new day of policy in America. And yet, in the USA we have an atmosfear.

Consider these signs:
  • In the weeks immediately following the election gun sales skyrocketed in anticipation of more restrictive laws in the new administration.
  • Talk of assassinations and terrorist attacks have increased everywhere.
  • White people have become paranoid about how the new government will try to "get back at them" or "even the scales."
  • Many people that I know are "afraid" about what the future holds.
I have a couple of thoughts. First of all, I am afraid that much of the fear that many are experiencing is a ruse. It is code language for a subtle racism. People are afraid because they are white, and whether they realize it or not, they are exhibiting a bit of prejudice. There is nothing to fear from a democratically elected administration in the USA.

Secondly, atmosfear is the calling card of certain political elements that have had a lot of control of events over the last seven- eight years. As long as people are afraid, they can be manipulated. As long as we think things will get worse, we can be controlled.

I, for one, am tired of being afraid. Perhaps there are cases when fear is a wise state to be in, but fear is one step better than paranoid. Paranoid is just a short trip away from exhausted. I am already too tired to get paranoid. And although it may not always be the wisest choice, to the best of my ability I am not going to be afraid. I am going to try my best to live my life with joy.

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