Living In Fear
By Greg Messel
We live in fearful times. The 24 hour news cycle and saturation coverage of cable news seems to amp up the fear factor.
I explore the pervasive fear that grips us in 21st Century America in my new novel "The Illusion of Certainty."
Part of the atmosphere of fear comes from the uncertainty that is always out there just below the surface in our lives.
In the prologue I quote John Allen Paulos who said, "Uncertainty is the only certainty there is." We try to control and monitor the events of our lives. The technology of the 21st Century adds to the "illusion" that we are in control. But we are not really in control. It is an illusion.
Much of the story unfolds against the backdrop of the severe economic downturn of 2008. It introduces the element of uncertainty into all of the character's lives. Although Black Monday may have occurred three years ago, its ramifications have been far-reaching and as long lasting; many in the economy today still struggle to rebuild what was lost during that fateful period in our recent history. Just as we began to rebuild and the economy started to show signs of improvement, news broke once again of plummeting markets, plunging us even further into recession. Over the last month, the unemployment figure has remained at 9.1 percent and there is little to give us hope in the economy.
The main protagonist in "The Illusion of Certainty" is Marc Wilson. Marc and those who work for him go through the same emotions that every American did, watching the news in fear and apprehension, wondering what the future might hold; Marc muses to his co-workers, “We had a limitless future, just two weeks ago. There was more business than we could handle. Now, everything is in peril. There is no security anywhere. This could be really, really bad. Fear and uncertainty are rampant.”
However, we can not live our lives cowering in fear.
Later in Part 2 of "The Illusion of Certainty" a friend advises Marc, "You were the one who always encouraged us to be pro-active. 'We can take action or be acted upon,' you always told us. It's time you took some action. Do a reboot of your life, then come back and kick some butt. I've seen you in action. You're a fearless guy who is not afraid of big problems. Right now you have a big problem. It's time to fix you!"
Marc takes this advice to heart and charts a new course in his life. He then discovers that the uncertainty of life can also produce some nice surprises.
Greg Messel has written three novels and three unpublished memoirs. He published his premiere novel “Sunbreaks” in 2009, followed by “Expiation” in 2010 and “The Illusion of Certainty” in 2011. Greg has had a newspaper career as a columnist, sportswriter and news editor. He won a
You can visit his website at www.gregmessel.com. Connect with Greg on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gregmessel or Facebook at www.facebook.com/greg.messel.