The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. H.L. Mencken
Insurance is fear-mongering. It is designed to get us to pay for peace-of-mind that can’t actually be delivered. At least, it can’t be gained by a mere purchase. We either deliver it to ourselves by going inside to ask why 5 times, or we go to another source that is big enough to say yes to our deepest needs and desires for safety.
I went to buy carbon monoxide detectors today. CO detectors last about ten years, then you have to buy new ones. Mine gave up the ghost several months ago. I looked at the various models, and noticed they were displayed next to smoke detectors. Then I saw the perfect gimmick–a CO/smoke detector in combination.
Perfect, right? Wrong!
Gas lies on the ground if it leaks, smoke rises if something catches fire. What the….? Are they stupid? Or do they think WE’RE stupid? I got mad just thinking about it! The surprising answer is neither. They think we’re afraid.
They are right. Most of us are fearful, and when we are afraid, we do not think with clarity. Do you take foolish risks if you feel safe? No, of course not; if you were knowingly taking a foolish risk, your sense of safety would evaporate.
So insurance can give a sense of security, but it can not protect you from the pain that comes from being alive. It cannot protect from the bumps that accrue when you are taking risks in the pursuit of dreams, achievements, and experiences.
So we have life insurance, which protects our family from financial ruin when we die. But it does nothing to protect them from the grief. And accident insurance for the unexpected crash, but nothing for the remaining trauma. Or health insurance for the doctor’s visits and diagnostics, but nothing to cover the loss of mobility, or compensate for chronic pain and disease. In fact, most health insurance covers scant preventive health care, if any.
There are insurance plans for all the things we fear; well, pretty much. Extreme sports, floods, car accidents, loss of luggage, a flat tire in Nowheresville, free replacement for the tempered glass on your new iPhone. The list is absurdly long. But they can’t insure us against fear. Or even protect us from loss.
Most Fear is Imaginary
There is an entire (rather huge) segment of our Western culture that is feeding like a parasite on our imagination. The insurance companies’ fear-mongering has been legitimized by laws. We are now mandated to have insurance, even though it does not actually protect us. We are required to have auto insurance, but most of us still carry uninsured- or underinsured-motorist insurance. Just in case, you know.
Someone close to me pointed out an interesting thing about plant life. When you pull or cut a “weed” (that’s a whole other post), that plant hurries into its cycle of perpetuating itself by producing seeds, even as it dies. Normally, a dandelion will bud, bloom, die and make a puffball of seeds in a few days, or a week. But if you pick that flower, it will produce seeds in a single day. It recognizes that it is dying, so it quickly reproduces.
Once pointed out, the analogy to the current state of affairs throughout the world hits close to home. We are afraid; so we run out and breed to perpetuate ourselves! Fearful we can not survive, we can’t think straight; and we purchase CO/smoke detectors. And we get so tired; it is hard work to be powerless.
The answer is simple.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
Why do I find this so difficult? Matthew 11 goes on to say that I will learn to be gentle and humble in heart, that I will find rest for my soul. The job I will be given is easy, the burden light….
That does not square with what I have learned. I guess I need to go back to the drawing board.
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