Friday, August 8, 2014

Crazy talk

What does it mean, the word 'crazy'?

People I've met seem to like the word, and use it often. Here are some examples:

A comment on a blog, "I stay away from the crazy ones."
A post on facebook, "I'm so glad I stay away from the crazy people."

When I hear this, I think it means, "I don't like and/or understand why you are doing the things that you do, so I'm calling you crazy to differentiate you from me."

I think I use the word to mean anyone I don't understand. To be 'crazy', then, would also mean it's someone I cannot have empathy for. That would mean, also, that it's really about me, and not about the other person. I lack the ability, skill or patience to empathize with their actions  - therefore they are crazy.

If I look at this guy, for instance. I find it hard to understand why someone would do this, so I call them 'crazy'.

Building up empathy means, to me, being able to look out at the world and not see a world full of crazy people. I continue to try to see it as a world full of people; people just trying to be happy and trying to live their lives.



SL said...

Big soda truck pulls out of 53rd street onto 5th avenue against the light and into traffic in order to position his parking space better. Crazy. Dangerous. Definitely stay away from so I don't get hit. No sign on the back of the truck 'how am I driving"? For one of those designer athletic sodas. Screw empathy. Need a cop to give the driver a ticket, or better yet confiscate the truck and the soda and lock up the driver before he hurts someone.

Janet said...

Hi SL - it sounds like that driver scared you. Am I right?

SL said...

Scared me and made me mad! Lock 'em up and throw away the key!

Janet said...

One thing I've heard is that it's nearly impossible to feel empathy for anyone when you are afraid of them.