The word that comes to mind is dissonance: a tension or clash resulting from the combination of disharmonious or unsuitable elements.
On your way out to go shopping and eat you are listening to news reports about the devastating collapse of the economy. You get to the restaurant and there is a long wait for a seat. You look around wondering, is everyone hurting as bad as the reports make it sound???
You hear that the there are even more economic woes to come, but you notice that flights are cheap and you still have the money you saved for vacation and feel fairly secure at the moment: to book or not to book. Is it okay to enjoy myself in the midst of others' devastation?
You have taken a huge hit with the economic collapse, maybe losing your job or your investment portfolio but you are surrounded by folks that appear relatively unscathed and are going about business as usual. Why are there such extremes, you wonder.
Americans are walking around in a state of cognitive dissonance which is a perfect environment for anxiety and depression to take root.
Click HERE to read a poignant interview with Deepak Chopra on the current times and some realistic and helpful perspective.
I hope you find it as meaningful as I did.