You’re driving down the city's main thoroughfare, traffic is light, so you accelerate a bit; in seconds a police car appears in your rear view mirror. Immediately your pulse quickens; your heart is pounding. Approaching a red light you decide to make a change in your morning routine and enter the right turn lane. By now your palms are beginning to sweat and your breathing becomes irregular.
The police car has also flashed the right turn signal and entered the right turn lane. Your mind races to consider; License, registration, proof of insurance. Oh my God ! I forgot to print my proof of insurance! Now in panic mode you make the turn and continue driving below the speed limit for one, two, three more blocks, the damned cop still on your tail. There goes my insurance premium. Finally the patrol car switches lanes and passes you, making a left at the next intersection. The relief you feel is indescribable.
Upon returning home later in the day you collect your mail. One particular plain looking business envelope on a second glance looks rather sinister though.. IRS? It can’t be my refund, I haven’t even filed yet. Too nervous to open it and too afraid not to, you remove the form letter. It turns out to be an advertisement sent by a company offering a tax refund loan.
These are just a fraction of the scenarios that are being lived out on a daily or even hourly basis. We have become a nation living in fear.
Some fears are rational, some even good for you , like those fears housed in our primitive sub-conscience to be unleashed at the appropriate time. Many are irrational. Or at least should be taken with a grain of salt. Note: Too much salt is bad for you.
The air we breathe is going to kill us if the food we eat doesn’t get us first. Are the drugs we’re taking doing more harm than good? Maybe we don’t them. Maybe we need a second opinion. I have to get a flu shot. You can get fired for refusing to take a flu shot you know.
Can we speak frankly and intelligently about matters we feel deeply about to just anyone? Only our closest friends? Surely not to our co-workers for fear of getting fired over what someone might find inappropriate, offensive or just plain not politically correct.
At some point we have to be who we are and suffer the consequences, good or bad.
Today has problems enough. A ticket is a part of life. The IRS, well a bit closer to the opposite. You are entitled to your opinion, period. Living in the shadow of your credit score is not living.
In the final scene of Gone With the Wind, Rhett Butler, walking out on Scarlett O'Hara, sums up all his frustrations with these immortal words, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
Maybe you shouldn’t either.