Ever had the urge to beat the living snot out of someone? How about making up a complete BS story in order to impress another? Have you ever snooped after a partner, because you had the nagging suspicion that he/she might have been lying or cheating? Maybe you stalked the one who dumped you because you were just so obsessed with him/her that you couldn’t help yourself. And then there may have been a situation where you lied through your teeth in order to not face the consequence of the action.
I once asked a psychiatrist how a sociopath could do the things he was doing. I asked how it is possible to not feel regret, remorse, sympathy or empathy at all. His answer was along the lines of “if you would be able to understand it, we’d have a problem. It would make you one of them.” Apparently, all of us have the ability to commit horrible crimes (just think of hate crimes, or what Nazis did in Germany) but what makes the difference is the choices that we make.
Let’s leave chemical imbalance and obvious mental illnesses like schizophrenia out for a moment. Quite often, what makes the difference between sanity and insanity, good or evil, etc. are the actions we take. In other words, the urge by itself does not define you, but the action that you take will.
When people blame circumstances or others for their individual actions, I tend to feel the same amount of astonishment and disbelief I did with the sociopath. I can’t wrap my head around hurting another physically, emotionally, psychologically/mentally or all of the above and claiming that you did what you did due to some exterior force that you had no control over (like being drunk, someone told you so, they started it and so on). At what point do we overwrite common sense, reasoning, logic, decency, morals and ethics and simply move forward with our action? Sure, there are many explanations for why people do what they do, but I still don’t get it.
Sometimes the craziest ideas may overcome us; other times we simply feel so angry or hurt that we can justify whatever means necessary to make that feeling go away, but don’t we also have a responsibility as human beings to not intentionally harm others for our own selfish reason or need?
Most of us don’t want to hurt another or be “bad” people. I have always said that it is impossible for us to always achieve this goal. Sometimes, we hurt others no matter how hard we try not to. But what makes the difference is our intent. Everyone screws up, everyone makes mistakes and some of them will be at someone else’s expense . What always mattered to me is the simple ability to look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day, knowing that I did the best I could, based on the knowledge and information I had at the time.
I think it is good to question oneself. I think it serves us to surround ourselves with those who will question our actions and challenge us in our beliefs and ways of being. If we only spend time with people who agree with us and think alike, we will never grow, which is why I am so weary of “herds” and groups of like minded individuals. Sure, we all want to belong and it is easier to belong with those who think alike or act in ways familiar to us, but therein lies the danger to repeat cycles that continue for generations and for us to never grow past of what we know.
Crazy is as crazy does, and good is as good does. If who we are is defined by our actions and actions are driven by thought, maybe we should all be more mindful of our thoughts and then our actions? Maybe if we questioned more and followed less and sat with being a little uncomfortable in the face of adversity or the unknown, and maybe if we chose our actions less on overthinking and more on the intention to be the best we can be and make a difference, not just for us but also for others, we would feel less crazy, have more control and probably be happier, too. Crazy sometimes is simply a choice; and so is sanity, healthy behavior, love, hate, anger, fear, happy or misery. Happy is as happy does. Think and act on that!