forest photography

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit. 

Aren’t you fed up with this whole world that is getting crazier and crazier, faster and faster, and more to the extremes as ever? Aren’t you tired of all this?

Because I am.

When I’ve chosen my profession of psychiatrist, I thought that it is going to be an interesting adventure to get to know people who live unusual lives at the edge of normality and who might have interesting insights. I never thought that the psychiatric hospital will move or descend into the streets, in the political and academic institutions, and aim to replace society in general. I mean, I never thought that I’m going to use my psychiatric skills outside the gates of the madhouse so as to navigate through (or avoid) so many psychopaths and schizophrenics that are now part of the norm. I mean, you might believe that everything around you is on the verge of collapse and nothing is reliable and foreseeable, but this mood is actually reserved to the psychiatric institutions where it’s exactly the feeling you get pretty much on a daily basis. Everyone working in psychiatry has to deal with potentially explosive situations of physical aggression, with emotional ups and downs, and with a general feeling of ambiguity and unpredictability that typically causes a lot of burnout – the trademark of the mental health related jobs. But the good part is that, after a while, either at the end of the night shift or at the end of the working day, you go home and get out of the madhouse and its distinctive mental pressure. Well… for some years now, I find the same level of madness outside the psychiatric ward… And I had moments when I found the mental institution comfy enough to seek refuge in it…

This is not normal.

And this has to stop or else we – everybody – will get burnt out quite rapidly because this madness is going to alter our critical thinking and our emotional balance. I mean, every couple of months we take a holiday, a break. It is advisable to do so and I have a rule to get out of the psychiatric environment every 3-4 months, preferably leaving the geographical area as well. This prevents burnout and enables me to recalibrate and recharge both emotionally and intellectually. But facing this situation of getting out of the madhouse only to spend holidays in a completely psychotic outer world is beginning to have consequences. And the fact that we somehow take a couple of days off but we never – for many years already – take some days off from social media – is slowly but surely driving us crazy.

Writing about something so unexciting such as the common sense and using this concept as a title for a blog article is a proof that the world is upside down. I mean, who would be interested to read about common sense when people seek entertainment and trivialities on the internet!?! It is simply uncool!

Well… in a world that is completely mad, people have already begun to seek balance. Most of the people I ever knew have left social media completely and quite frankly I don’t know if they’re alive or not. They just closed or abandoned their profiles and probably come online only to seek some information or pay the bills. That’s fine, but the madness is no longer online only; it is already in the offline world. While using a fashionable word these days, we can safely say that society got captured.

Where can we still find common sense? In our families, if we still have them and if they weren’t “captured”, which is not sure at all, especially if they were already dysfunctional. In remote communities, such as the traditional village, as long as this still exists and its spirit hasn’t been touched. In paper books, where the information hasn’t been altered yet, as I increasingly see online that the base of knowledge is being modified so as to fit the officially accepted narrative, including the “correction” of ebooks. And that’s all, I’m afraid.

I took some time to meditate lately on this situation and I must say there is a difference between a madhouse and a society behaving like a madhouse. In the psychiatric unit the rules are clear and strengthened, it is always obvious what you can and what you cannot do, the order reigns so as to keep in check the real possibility of violence. In a way, we can extrapolate and say that we police the place and we do it effectively because otherwise you can even get killed. There is a lot of collective pondering, a lot of planning and we are forced to think in advance so as to anticipate and thwart any danger. On the other hand, a society behaving like lunatics in a madhouse is a society in which the police doesn’t do its job effectively (for fear of the label “police brutality” maybe?!), the gatekeepers and the guardians are incompetent (they have either been corrupted/bribed or they went “woke”) and the institutions responsible with education in a moral and empathetic way (“emotional intelligence”, remember?!) have failed (possibly becoming bureaucratic, pretending to do what they’re supposed to do but missing the point). Following this logic, such a society is far more dangerous than a psychiatric hospital. And more, such a society is instable, it will quickly crumble. You need predictability and competence so as to make it in a civilized and prosperous future. But if you let some schizophrenics and psychopaths rule the society and the world, you end up in a nuclear disaster or something similar, for the simple reason that both the schizophrenic and the psychopath don’t care about “this reality”. Yes, this “shared reality with you”!

I am dead serious.

Then there is another important question: Why would you care?!

If you are an adult, a mature human being, you care. You care because you are wise enough and you already have your common sense. You care because you have children and you want to leave something behind and more, you want to leave something good behind, or better than what you found when you came to this world. In the end, everything boils down to whether you love your children or not: if you love them, you take care of this world and leave them a livable place.

On the other hand, if you are a child – or you behave like one – you are selfish. You don’t care. If you are delusional or schizophrenic, you don’t give a damn about what happens to this world because you believe there is a second better world in your phantasms and that world is the “real” one. So, you have no problem destroying this “illusory” world. And, of course, your delusions are much more important than your children: they are expendable, they don’t matter, they can die, fu*k them! If you are a psychopath (sociopath), everything you love and care about is… yourself. You don’t believe in an afterlife and you know that everything happens in this life and nowhere else. And if it’s not in your own interest, fu*k it!

So, how can you have common sense? Well, it’s simple: if you love your children more than you love yourself, you will figure it out. It doesn’t involve intelligence, as you can probably see. Having common sense is essentially emotional: it’s about caring, it’s about having empathy or compassion, it’s about calmly assuming your responsibility as an adult and not having an emotional incontinence and an erratic behavior like a disturbed child.

I was hoping to be psychiatrist only in the madhouse but I see that I have no choice but to expand in the outer world as well, since the madhouse is here already. I have always used common sense as my preferred leadership and healing style: being always reasonable, stating the truth, focusing on understanding, being rather uncompromising on important issues. So, I guess I have to use the same style in writing as well, hoping to have, at some point, a much sought after leisure time.


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