Many of us spend a lot of time trying to understand crazy.
I’m talking about true crazy, not fun crazy. I’m not using crazy as a synonym for amazing or even incomprehensible (because sometimes we call things crazy simply because we can’t understand them). I’m not talking about people with mental health issues.
I’m talking about crazy as in harmful. To me, that is true crazy. It is absolutely insane to go around harming folks and the planet on a regular basis. And, people who have an entire life agenda around harming others, whether rooted in trauma (of course it is) without a lot of thought or with intention, are an example of true crazy.
Why do we spend so much time and effort trying to understand them?
Why do we spend so much time and effort assuming we should be able to understand them?
Why do we spend so much time and effort assuming they can be understood?
To understand something, one uses the logical aspects of thinking. What is rational about trying to cause harm?
That’s what makes it crazy!
How much of your precious life has been spent trying to understand what is incomprehensible?
I think this mentality around understanding is why so many folks argue with people who hold fundamental differences of opinion about life.
We have many, many people on the planet who are working for human rights. All human beings are born with certain rights, as inhabitants of life on planet Earth, and not all of us recognize that. But, many of us do and those people work to help others recognize it.
And, explanations are fine with a person who truly doesn’t understand something. But, do we know the difference between a lack of comprehension and a lack of acceptance?
Most of what many of us try to educate around doesn’t work. Why? Because the person we are trying to educate does not accept that our premise is true. We tell ourselves that what we are dealing with is a lack of understanding. Sometimes, we go as far as to tell ourselves we’re dealing with a lack of empathy. Those are very prideful and egocentric views of disagreement.
We’re often just dealing with a lack of acceptance.
If a person rejects, or does not accept, your premise, how are you going to make any headway with that person? You’re not. You will just be locked in a battle, assuming you don’t know how to have enough consideration for that person to leave them alone.
Assuming that people are just too dumb to get your point is an impediment to getting your point across. And, that’s the message behind continuing to “explain” something to someone who disagrees with you.
A lack of understanding is not the foundation to disagreement; a lack of acceptance is.
And, here’s the major point, for those of us trying to lead sane lives: People don’t have to accept your ideas.
You have to accept your ideas. No one else. We have all been gifted with free will. We can all live exactly as we choose. We can say what we want. We can believe what we want.
Why does that sound so good to us until we meet someone whose living, words, and beliefs are reprehensible to us?
Of course, there are extremes to being out of agreement with one another. Mass exploitation, enslavement, genocide, any form of systemic oppression. I’m not saying it’s okay for those things to exist. I’m saying that the people who support those concepts are not doing so because they don’t understand your points about how bad they are. They support those concepts because they don’t accept your points about how bad they are.
In a few occasions in my life, I’ve had the opportunity to dissect a point with a person who disagreed with me. We would agree upon every, single small point leading up to the larger point and STILL disagree on the larger point. We agreed on the path, but disagreed on the destination. How did the same path lead us to different places?
That was so fascinating to me, that I could totally agree upon the nuances of a point with someone and still disagree on the larger point, that I started thinking more about how I view the concept of understanding.
I realized that I view understanding as a moral issue, not an act of rationale. But, understanding is not a moral issue. So, I had to rearrange my relationship with understanding.
I suggest we all really sit down with our relationship with the concept of understanding and see where we have misunderstood the concept. Because misunderstanding the concept of comprehension will only lead to misunderstanding our fellow human beings.
And, misunderstanding each other is where relationships (or the potential for relationships) fall apart.
At this point in my life, I no longer try to understand crazy. I no longer try to convince people of my points (unless both parties are enjoying a bit of verbal sparring…I love a good debate/argument). I no longer assume something is wrong with you because you have reached a different conclusion than I have.
We get to think our own ways. Who am I to tell you how you should think? Or believe? Or live? Or behave? If you are not my child, it is not my responsibility to educate you, unless you have requested my insight.
That’s also what blogs are for. I’ve stopped using the people in my environment and started using tools like blogging to share my unrequested thoughts about life. That’s just me trying to be considerate of those around me.
Certain things are crazy, if you ask me. It’s crazy to live a life of intentional (or unintentional) harm. But, another human being simply disagreeing with me about life is not inherently crazy.
It would be crazy for me to assume it was.