Yes, they are out to get you

Proditomania, from the Latin prodere (to betray) is the feeling or the belief that everyone around is out to get you. ~

Haggard Hawks says this word is derived from the same root are a clutch of equally seldom-encountered words likes of prodition (a fifteenth century word for treason or treachery) and proditor (a traitor).

Here’s a cheerful thought from an email I receive every morning called Daily Stoic:

Here’s a humbling thought: Even if your life is amazing and successful, even if you mind your own business and are kind to everyone you meet, somebody, somewhere is going to be happy when you’re dead. Somebody who wants to buy your house, somebody who you pissed off in high school, an up and comer looking to enter the job market, some hater who doesn’t like your work—they’re going to smile when they hear the news that you’ve passed. At the very least, there are some worms who are going to be glad to get to work on your corpse.

It doesn’t matter how good a life you’ve led. There’ll still be people standing around the bed who will welcome the sad event. Even with the intelligent and good. Won’t there be someone thinking “Finally! To be through with that old schoolteacher. Even though he never said anything, you could always feel him judging you.” And that’s for a good man. How many traits do you have that would make a lot of people glad to be rid of you? Remember that, when the time comes.

Feeling more better already?

This has always been our human condition: The Old Testament Book of Psalms mentions the words “enemy” and “enemies” 104 times. To pick just one:

Psalms:27:12: Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

What to do? In sending out the Twelve, Jesus said to them, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16, KJV). The world, then as now, one commentator writes, was hostile to believers—not incidentally hostile, but purposefully hostile. This writer continues:

Some people recoil at the image of a serpent, no matter what the context. They can never see a snake in a good light, even when used by Jesus as a teaching tool. But we should not make too much of the simile. We cannot attach the evil actions of Satan (as the serpent) with the serpent itself. Animals are not moral entities. The creature itself cannot perform sin, and shrewdness is an asset, not a defect. This is the quality that Jesus told His disciples to model.

So then we live with the paradox. As is so often the case with dangerous and difficult affairs.

~ Scheherazade

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