There are far too many people who think they are sane. 800,000 people commit suicide every year in the world, according to WHO. That is, in every 40 seconds somebody is choosing death voluntarily in our world. In addition to that, 400,000 people are killed every year by other people. What is interesting is that a lot of these homicides are committed for the sake of noble causes like patriotism, religious beliefs, and ideologies. We aren’t quite a sane species, right?
Insanity is the norm rather than an exception when it comes to human beings. We call it uniqueness. That’s fine too. The world would be an absolutely boring place with too many perfectly sane people. Just imagine a world where everyone thinks absolutely logically, rationally. They’d see molecules of hydrogen and oxygen when they see water. They would hear sextant when you say sex. They will say that a body at rest wants to stay at rest but won’t ever rest themselves.
Let us admit it: we are all insane. Most of us. We don’t go by reason usually. We go by our emotions. Sentiments. Oh my! Aren’t our sentiments touchy! Make a joke about someone’s fetish and watch the hell break loose. You don’t even have to crack a joke really. People are just waiting to get hurt, it looks like.
Psychologist Albert Ellis tells us that our belief systems create most of the problems. We harbour a lot of insane beliefs which are thrust into our bloodstream by vested interests. Those people who rammed an airplane into the World Trade Centre thought themselves to be saints. Hitler regarded himself as the saviour of a whole race. Millions and millions of people have been brutally done away with in the name of gods, holy cows, and even philosophical abstractions like socialism.
How do we solve this problem?
First of all, we can’t solve the other people’s problems. We can only cure our own insanities. A lot of gods came to save mankind and failed miserably. There’s a Christian hymn that I was taught as a child. One day at a time, sweet Jesus – that was the title of the hymn. Towards the end it asks Jesus: “Do you remember / When you walked among men? / Well, Jesus, you know / If you’re looking below / It’s worse now than then…”
Neither Jesus nor Krishna, neither the Buddha nor the Prophet, redeemed the world. The world became worse and worse as years went by though the number of gods burgeoned insanely. If gods and their men couldn’t save the world, how can you and me – ordinary mortals – hope to? Let us save ourselves. How?
Change our belief systems. Question our beliefs and we are quite likely to find that most of them are insane, irrational, silly, absurd. Our dysfunctional personalities are products of those beliefs. Tragically, those beliefs rule the world. They always did. They had priests and high-priests. They had political defenders. They had deadly weapons of defence.
Do you want to be sane? It’s possible. Really. Here are some tips.
1. Fully acknowledge that you are largely responsible for your own emotional problems. Okay, I know that the skyrocketing prices of things and your government’s malignance or many other such things are beyond your control. True. We need to accept many things which are beyond our control and see what we can do about them. Maybe, endure them until the right opportunity comes along. Or create that opportunity. For the most part, quite many of our problems are our own making.
2. You need to accept the notion that you have the ability to change a lot of things significantly. You can’t change the petrol price. But you can change your driving habit. You can change your car. You can even change your country. Well, explore all possible and viable options.
3. When it comes to psychological problems, we need to recognise that our emotions are by and large products of our irrational beliefs. Look at those beliefs in the face. See them clearly. Challenge them.
4. Understand that action is what will redeem you. Not prayers. Not gods and godmen. Not politicians. Your own actions. Your determination, your grit, your perseverance. Put your hand to the pickaxe. And don’t turn back.
“Stop it, and give yourself a chance,” as Aaron Beck (psychologist) said.
PS. This post is part of Blogchatter's CauseAChatter