Had a talk with another one of my malcontents today, who I call “paranoia”. Found out several things about this guy:
- His whole job, as he defines it, is to avoid death.
- Since there is no room for error in this job, he can get pretty stressed out.
- Also because of no room for error, he often extrapolates suspicions about what might possibly lead to death, and tries to make sure those paths are avoided. This can get pretty extreme, for example something like, “we’ve got to make sure we keep up good appearances to others so that we don’t get stigmatized and thus are more likely to fall into poverty and thus die early.”
- Ultimately, his purpose for starting this in the first place was to preserve life. By doing his job right, he can preserve the lives of those who enjoy life.
- By consequence, he is afraid of letting down those who enjoy life, for if they are ever endangered, he’s often the one to get the blame.
I finally got him to calm down a bit when I told him that if any of those he’s trying to protect ever did blame him, or ever did die – whatever might have happened is part of life – and he can rest in knowing that he did everything he knew to do possible. Anyone who still has a problem with this is being unfair to him. Maybe it’s a small change, but at least I got through to him. He was extremely paranoid, after all. And even if it’s a small voice within one’s self, that paranoia can make life pretty chaotic.