“A sick society must think much about politics, as a sick man must think much about his digestion.”-C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), British writer and lay theologian “I contend that most emotional distress is best understood as a rational response to sick societies.”-Oliver James, British chartered psychologist, author, journalist, television producer and broadcaster. There is a general observation that a sick human being undergoing pain and discomfort is likely to feel stress more acutely making him highly sensitive. Consequently, he is prone to react in a manner that is quite different from that of a healthy person so while the former might find it difficult to handle problematic issues cropping up in daily life, the latter may brush them aside with the shrug of his shoulders, either facing them patiently or going about to finding solutions. Thus, meeting an undesirable person, being stuck in a traffic jam, rushing to reach an appointment, sitting an important examination, are some of the easily manageable events for a stout person whereas for a sensitive one, even a single event can arouse irritability and extreme tension. Illness behavior is a dynamic response to changing bodily sensations and reflects not only the individual’s psychological disposition but also the broader socio-economic and cultural context within which the individual lives. According to established psychologists, highly sensitive people absorb more environmental information that includes both good and bad, compared to others. Although this process occurs largely in an unconscious way, it takes up a lot of energy of a weaker person who, if subjected to constant noise, clusters of people, busy schedules, running after deadlines, could be overwhelmed to an extent that can wear him down. To make matters worse, physical ailments and emotional distresses can aggravate the condition forcing him to react sharply, sometimes disproportionately, to trivial things such as jokes, sarcasm, a light comment, an accident (which by its very meaning entails absence of intention). They are the cause of much stress and pain as well as many diseases such as indiscipline, corruption, intolerance, uncivil behavior, disrespect etc. As a consequence, our reactions reflect the malaise that is prevalent in our society. We are basically irritable, edgy, grumpy, cranky and sour. Our tolerance is lower and we are inclined to be bothered by the kinds of minor frustrations others may laugh away at. Our reactions to irritants are also more aggressive than usual causing us to snap and chastise those around us Let us examine a real life situation where a car collides with the car in front, say on the busy and scenic Canal Road in Lahore. This is quite a common occurrence and can happen on account of many reasons but what ensues later happens primarily in our country. Immediately the drivers jump out of their vehicles and without further ado start hurling abuses, blaming one another for the accident. A traffic hold-up is inevitable and of course onlookers start crowding around the volatile scene, some out of curiosity and some to enjoy the live show. If both the belligerent entities also turn out to be hotheads, one can definitely expect a physical tussle, much to the amusement of others. Conversely, such incidents taking place in a civilized country are managed in the quietest possible way usually with mere exchange of insurance details by both the parties involved. Then other recurrent features are when people get injured or even killed because of violating traffic rules, for example going the wrong way in a one-way lane or through sheer callousness, like not looking while crossing busy roads, the driver of the vehicle is always held responsible and instantaneously he is pulled out by non-related elements who beat him to a pulp even before the police is called in or the actual reason for the accident can be determined. At times the car, bus or truck is torched and destroyed as if by doing so the loss can be redressed. There are a variety of occasions where fairly innocent forms of communications and gestures may invoke severe reaction from the public leading to sometimes uncontrollable episodes. The question is that why do these things happen? What are those factors that play havoc with the peace of a society? Why are people susceptible to violent behavior when matters can be resolved amicably? These are serious symptoms of a socially sick society that have hardly been discussed in the media or addressed in sermons by prayer leaders, who by the way, are mostly obsessed with raising funds for mosques. Even politicians often shy away from talking about rule of law as many of them are themselves guilty of breaching the law and transgressing supreme law of the land-the constitution. The main conclusion that can be drawn is that because of absence of proper control over law and order and establishment of rule of law, the society in general has become chronically ill. One can understand from the example of our own lives. Overeating and lack of discipline along with an unhealthy lifestyle can make our minds and bodies sick leading to sometimes terminal illnesses. The sickness can be averted by first admitting the existence of the disease, taking a prescription, following a strict dietary and activity regime requiring tremendous conviction. These measures can eventually result in a positive change in a person. It may be emphasized that efforts of the affected one alone can undo whatever negativity is disrupting his life. No one else can do it for him. Similarly, a society can evolve better if its members resolve to change themselves for the better. Persistent political instability over the past decades, security issues, an exploding population, rising rate of poverty, misuse of natural resources, poor governance, extremely pathetic living environment, disappointing political leaders, lack of trust in governmental institutions, injustice, insecure futures are those deadly germs that have already infected our society. They are the cause of much stress and pain as well as many diseases such as indiscipline, corruption, intolerance, uncivil behavior, disrespect etc. As a consequence, our reactions reflect the malaise that is prevalent in our society. We are basically irritable, edgy, grumpy, cranky and sour. Our tolerance is lower and we are inclined to be bothered by the kinds of minor frustrations others may laugh away at. Our reactions to irritants are also more aggressive than usual causing us to snap and chastise those around us. One hopes that sanity prevails and our consciousness grows to an extent that can help us realize our predicaments thus ridding us of all social evils that have penetrated into our lives and made our society terminally ill. The writer, lawyer and author, is an Adjunct Faculty at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Published in Daily Times, October 27th 2018.