The voice on a recent robo-call, in the masculine-but-chirpy tone of a game show host, said, “Hi, this is Tod, here to tell you your fulfillment package is ready! Having just come from the meditation room, I wondered what kind of fulfillment Tod was selling. “Stay on the line for details on how to get your medical alert package.” I hung up.
We all know Big Data is watching our every keystroke, and that “secure information” is an oxymoron, but although “they” may have accurately placed me in the medical alert demographic, they don’t understand my idea of fulfillment. Or do they?
Every “positive psychology” poll I’ve ever seen on the key factors of happiness lists “good health” as most important, so perhaps Tod wasn’t that far off. Or so you might think, unless you’d seen the third annual Chapman University Survey of American Fears, which lists the flip-side of happiness, things that get in the way of fulfillment. The top fear, listed by 60.5% of the 1511 Americans surveyed was, “Corruption of government officials.”
Understandable, especially this year, but it also tells me that the survey is skewed toward a young demographic. Trust me, when you get old enough to care for a parent with Alzheimer’s, the things you fear change dramatically. Plus, I’m cynical enough to believe that “corrupt government official” is usually redundant – like speaking of “wealthy millionaires.” (There are 383 of those in Congress, by the way).
Here are the results of the survey:
- Corruption of government officials (same top fear as 2015) — 60.6%
- Terrorist attacks — 41%
- Not having enough money for the future — 39.9%
- Being a victim of terror — 38.5%
- Government restrictions on firearms and ammunition — 38.5%
- People I love dying — 38.1%
- Economic or financial collapse — 37.5%
- Identity theft — 37.1%
- People I love becoming seriously ill — 35.9%
- The Affordable Health Care Act/”Obamacare” — 35.5%
Interesting to note that by a small percentage, more of us fear losing our guns than losing our loved ones. Nope, not my fulfillment package.
However, fear of clowns didn’t make the top ten, so perhaps we can let Stephen King off the hook….