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….
I guess you haven’t heard of https://www.nomorobo.com. You can sign up there and all your robo calls will be caught and all that will happen is your phone will ring one time, then stop. I never answer my phone on the first ring any more and I love not getting those. Interesting statistics. Those are all things I think about and have some fear about, but in an entirely different order. Thanks for the post.
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Thanks for the nomoobo link!
For the last year, I’ve been studying the work of a Tibetan Bon Buddhist teacher who is a prolific author, and holds free, online teachings once a month, usually attended by about 800 people from around the world. Coincidentally, his last two sessions have focused on working with fear. The principle is simple – any mental content we calmly hold in awareness, changes. Although some experience with contemplative discipline would help, no prior beliefs of any kind are required, except perhaps, the realization, which most of us have by now, that running from fears, or trying to fight or repress them doesn’t work.
I’ve been wondering if I should post the teachings (on youTube clips) and I think I will. Thanks