I dislike self-diagnosing individuals. There is little to gain when embarking on a dangerous journey without a guide. However, I hate even more those laypeople that diagnose others with personality disorders. Often, such people are trying to equate their disdain for an individual with a viable and biological or environmental explanation. They cannot accept that others may be defective individuals on their own. And, ultimately, they deny the darkness that lives within each and every human being – most importantly, the darkness that lives within themselves. How many times have we heard that Donald Trump is a narcissist and Hilary Clinton a psychopath? How many people that know better are spreading such potential misinformation based on their own ignorance and prejudices? We must reject such banter. We must sew their mouths shut.
It’s been a while. I want to touch on a subject that I’ve mentioned briefly from time to time. By now, many of you are aware of the murders by a possibly mentally ill man in Florida in which the murderer beat his victims to death and then started biting off the flesh of the face of one of the victims. So far, tests for illicit drugs have come back negative and the possibility of a mental “break” cannot be dismissed. The etiology of his bizarre behavior does not particularly concern me. However, if this is a case of mental illness, it resurrects the debate of the rights of the afflicted as contrasted with those that are “unafflicted” (or afflicted differently, at least). My position has solidified over the years, and I find that the only “fair” choice is for those that are being harmed to have safety from those that are doing harm or have done harm. Society does not need to justify a fair desire to remain safe. Is it possible that medication could help in similar circumstances with others that are mentally ill and violent? Sure. Should society have to take that risk when one has shown violence? No. Sometimes bad things happen that are irredeemable. Realization and restraint may come, but if one has shown that they are poisonous, no one has to take their word – or the word of anyone else – as sacrosanct and above those unalienable rights to safety that we all should enjoy.
These are strange times. My intellectual grasp of the interconnectedness of the world is at peak form even if I do not hold an emotional state toward others living on this earth. Cognitively, I realize that every action I take affects someone else in some fashion and that every action another takes may affect me. In this sense, the grand dance that is life is slowly being revealed to me. What will eventually come my way from such a focus on the intertwined nature of life is yet to be seen. I do not believe in karma, but I do believe that if one seeks to be part of the world, they must respect the world. By respect, I mean that the individual must realize that others have their own unique positions in life and that they exist separate from the observer’s point of view. There are times in which my selfishness and callousness shines through, but by and large, I am morphing into a new being. This is no accident. Months and years of meditating upon my place in the world have brought me to this point and a lesser mind certainly would not reach the same conclusions that I have. These are strange times indeed.
It’s been a bit since the United Kingdom voted, democratically, to leave the European Union. Whether they actually do or not, given that the Europeans practice a bit of “democracy when convenient”, is irrelevant, though amusing to me. The philosophical question is one that was theoretically answered by the U.K. population: who owns the right to self-determination? In my belief – and I hope with yours as well – it is ultimately the people that give the government power to determine the governed’s fate. That is, the ultimate power resides within each and every individual that a democratic government derives its power from. This concept of being able to chart one’s own destiny, is ultimately what brings me to this post. The punchline may be the same, but I hope this connection to real life sheds some insight as to who ultimately holds the authority in our separate lives: the individual.
My continued evolution mirrors those that go to fetch water. At first, an individual will satisfy his own needs, and gather water from the well with his hands. He will be quenched, though he has no way to avoid going to the well in the future, as he has no way to retain the water he scoops up. He then returns with a canteen, satisfying his needs for a longer time and allowing for the storage of a sufficient amount of water. Finally, he returns with both canteen and pail, so that his needs are satisfied as well as those around him; he can return to others with the pail of water and continue his journey with the filled canteen. As an antisocial individual, I first obtained my necessities by deceit, considering only the moment when acting. I later learned measured restraint, finding ways to keep my needs met beyond the moment – ignoring derailing impulsivity for the moment – and was satisfied longer. Now, I am starting to learn to meet my needs in conjunction or in harmony with the needs of others. It may not be an automatic consideration, just as one fetching water may need to provide the pail himself, but the end result is all the same. What was once simplistic and only quenching in the moment is slowly evolving into a lifelong struggle to satisfy the needs of all. This weighs heavily on my mind as I continue to dwell on the nature of interpersonal relationships.