Lately I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends are getting kind of pronoid. Okay, more than a bit. To be honest, there’s an epidemic of pronoia among people I love. I’m even showing signs of it myself. I feel it’s important that you know about this condition, just in case it begins to affect you or someone you love.

    Pronoia is the opposite of paranoia; it means believing that people and circumstances are secretly conspiring to help and benefit you. Insane, right? I know! Yet I find myself slipping into this frame of mind, especially when I hang out with pronoiacs. Once upon a time I knew certain things: that people are always judging me; that anything that can go wrong will go wrong; and that we’re all headed for death, the ultimate horror.

    I may be losing touch with that reality.

    For example, I find myself thinking that everyone isn’t judging me as much as they’re judging themselves, trying to be perfect or beautiful or powerful because they yearn for acceptance. I’m starting to notice that an incredible number of things actually go right: people solve problems, miracles like the Internet and air travel work for me almost all the time, acts of kindness abound. And I’m finding it harder and harder to shake the suspicion that death may be a happy beginning, rather than a dreadful end.

    If you start to notice symptoms of pronoia, such as feeling calm, amused, and confident where you once showed normal levels of anxiety, grimness, and grasping, you may already be on the slippery slope to— Wait a minute, I just realized something: You’ve been in on this thing all along! You’re just one more agent of kindness, conspiring to illuminate and delight me—why else would you even be reading this? Don’t deny it! At heart, you’re just a being of pure love, innocent, joyful, and peaceful, creating benefit for all beings. My pronoid friends and I are so onto you. And we, along with rest of the world, have every intention of conspiring to make you happy.