I’m sure at some point in your life someone called you paranoid for something you considered just being prepared.
To be prepared or paranoid, it’s a matter of your own perspective.
For example, to keep food, water, and other “survival supplies” in your car may seem like an unnecessary and paranoid thing to do, right? I mean, “what are you afraid of?” would be the common refrain. But consider about 1500 motorists, stranded on Interstate 12 in Louisiana due to massive flooding. Louisiana State Police used helicopters to airlift food and water to these people.
But perhaps it’s just a consequence of being in the southern part of the United States. I remember when I lived up north, it was a ritual as wintertime approached to put various supplies in your car, like blankets and some food and water, because getting stuck in a snowstorm was a very real possibility. If you didn’t prepare your car this way, you were considered stupid.
Prepared? Paranoid? All about your perspective.
Some years ago the family had a day planned for SeaWorld. Of course, being SeaWorld you (should) expect to get wet, so we planned and dressed accordingly. As the day drew near, weather forecasts predicted rain. What did I do? I packed raincoats. No reason to cancel the day, because again you expect to get wet. But it’s miserable walking around in the rain, and inconvenient to use umbrellas, so raincoats. Of course, some looked at us as weird because you just don’t go into a vacation event expecting “bad things” – the day should be sunny and happy, right? But Mother Nature didn’t consult me in making her plans, so I had to work with her plans. Of course it started raining. What did we observe? The other park patrons all rushed to the gift shops and bought SeaWorld-branded rain ponchos – we were the only people in the entire park with our own rain gear (of any sort). We were only considered paranoid until we needed it, and then we were considered prepared.
Before you start labeling someone “paranoid”, step back and remember your empathy. Try to see it from their perspective. Nothing says you have to agree with them, but hopefully you can at least understand them.