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title date tags layout
A few disturbing thoughts about sanity
2012-02-29
perspective
psychology
post

A truman show of some sort

Some people are convinced that the world around them is plotting for their demise. That, for some reason, every person, animal, or even thing that interfers with their existence is part of a grand scheme to make their earthspan a living hell.

My life is going so smoothly at the moment that I can definitely not suspect everyone of being against me. However, I have recently come across another hypothesis: that every one close to me is being kind to me because of my condition.

What condition? Keep in mind that this is a thought experiment: I am not actually asserting anything, just considering a possible situation. If you had a mentally challenged child, would you tell him the truth? Or would you try to protect him?

Looking at the facts

Families have been hiding horrible secrets for generations, and mine is no exceptions. This darned belief persists: that by dissimulating the truth, the consequences of horrible events are lessened. Even though it has been proven wrong countless times.

A mildly mentally challenged child will probably be remarked as such, and mocked by his peers, in school for example. A slighter handicap could pass off as merely being light-headed. But what about a handicap so severe that it would prevent the host from perceiving third-party judgement on him?

As a child, I was a huge introvert - a trait only emphasized by the protected environment I was raised into. I remember hearing a couple of girls laughing at me when I was about 11. One of them took pity in me and tried to get me to talk

  • Hey little guy! What's your name?
  • ...
  • C'mon, talk to me!
  • ...
  • Do you even speak French?

At which point I probably just took off in the opposite direction.

There is no clear line between genius and insanity

It doesn't cost much to be good at what you do. While the education system of most countries is thoroughly broken, the world in general has historically come to a setup that, although unfair, is relatively easy to game.

However, helping yourself up way above average is a daunting challenge. You might lose the ability to relate to lots of people, and as such, lose most of your friends. You will have to skip many mundane activities because perfecting your skills requires so much time.

You will become fluent in languages and constructs that few souls understand, and whenever you will try to express it simply, you will sound patronizing. There was an important anti-intellectualist influence at my school, for a simple reason: most people don't like to hear things they don't understand. They would well rather beat you dumb.

You will have to make choices, and your circle of friends will thin out, as you realize that you have to limit it to the people who can bare the version of you that does not limit him or herself.

Make a choice

I know many people who are not living to their full potential for various reasons: the wish of their parents, social pressure, religious convictions, fear of the unknown or to be left alone, laziness.

Make an informed choice for yourself. I have warned you: defying the average is not without its perils. As for me, after a long period of dark thoughts and self-repression, I'm back to my original philosophy: be bold in everything you do.

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