When things go our way, when plans fall into place, when we achieve expected results, we feel safe. Any digression from this brings an unease and causes us to doubt. We feel exposed, vulnerable, and unprotected.
Based on the random theory, we don’t get to pick our environment when we are born. We are stuck with a person who’s supposed to be our mom, our dad, and our sibling. We are stuck with the basics – the community, culture, religion, and capabilities that we are born with. We do however, are given the freedom to select everything else.
With this set of basics, we are now either Katniss or Peeta, unleashed into the wild to survive, almost like The Hunger Games. The wild consists of the unknown, the surprises, and the challenges that life throws at us. Each person uses a different technique and strategy to bring himself back to safety – a feeling of being in a warm cocoon with a least probability of an attack. To help achieve this mission, we hire an army. In an eclectic manner, we surround ourselves with anything or anyone that brings us instant happiness – clothes, gadgets, money, ambition, working out, adventurous travel – things that bring an adrenaline rush, an instant dose of a happy feeling – serotonin & dopamine. We also hire people who we consider friends – people who are like-minded, people who appreciate us, people who agree with our way of thinking and lifestyle – people who make us feel good about ourselves, make us feel appreciated, accepted, and unconditionally loved.
Anything or anyone else, then becomes an enemy – people who don’t see our point of view, people who challenge our assumptions, people who point out imperfections. While some do it to deliberately hurt us, some do it because they care about us, love us, and only want the best for us. Not all that makes us instantly feel good is necessarily good. And not all that makes us instantly feel bad is necessarily bad. Some medicines don’t taste good, but they are good for us. At times like these, it becomes very important to accurately identify an enemy, so that we don’t shoot everyone in front of us.