Friday, October 24, 2008


Recently for the first time the world’s population became slightly more urban than rural. By some projections it will be 65% urban by 2030. One result of this is that people, ironically, are more isolated. Community in urban settings is never as strong as outside large cities. Isolation breeds paranoia.
Fear comes in many flavors. Terror is a physical fear for one’s life. Horror is being intellectually “creeped out” by certain implications. Paranoia is a toothless fear that is nonetheless dangerous because it alters behavior. Roman Polanski in his films Rosmary’s Baby and The Tennant did a really good job of exploring paranoia.
Paranoia is based on misinformation or sometimes little truths blown way out of proportion. BBC radio recently pointed out the way the media has so hyped up the fear of sexual predators in England that kids are no longer allowed out as much. This has resulted in a wave of childhood obesity that, statistically, endangers far more children in a far greater way than the actual chance that they would ever be harmed by the predators in the first place. The same paranoia has caused some parents in Britain to be verbally assaulted at playgrounds for taking pictures of their own children.
Parenting is just one of (and one of the greatest) areas that has been impacted by paranoia. Ecological junk science has people completely altering their lives in an effort to save the planet that really does not change anything at all or at times makes things worse.
If you are going to live with fear in your life, make sure it is something worth being concerned about. “Do not fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” –Matthew 10:28

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