Saturday, December 18, 2010

Stupid & Crazy

This is a post I did a long time ago. It's subject has come to the forefront of my thoughts again, as I struggle with some personal issues.

I heard a comedian the other day...."You can't fix stupid." I've been thinking about this for a while. There are labels that we put on people that we use to make it OK to dismiss them, or ridicule them, or otherwise be less than kind to them. Among those labels are "stupid" and "crazy". It seems that socially two of the lowest things one can be are stupid or crazy.(OK, not as low say, as axe-murderers or animal abusers)

I think part of that is because either of those conditions can cause a person to be generally bad news. If you're stupid, you're going to do stupid things. Doing stupid things is dangerous. If you're crazy, there's no telling what you might do - totally unpredictable to others - also dangerous. Crazy is the next closest thing to a mind totally alien. other......"not we" (we and not-we, also known as "us'ns and them'ns" as in "Us'ns are fine-but them'ns are all messed up." another subject, another post perhaps). I wonder too, if we aren't afraid that crazy might rub off on us....or that others will see us near crazy, and think that we're crazy too.....guilt of crazy by association.
Ok, it's only prudent for people to stay away from those identifiable by their actions as dangerously stupid or crazy. That said, I feel for those who really have a diminished capacity. A matter of how to deal with the myriad of pieces of input coming in. All of which needs to be sorted, like wheat from chaff. Then more decisions have to be made. Matters of perception and judgment. How does someone deal with this when they have a lower than average ability to think, or perception more greatly scewed from reality than usual?

One Father's Day, a radio announcer asked listeners to call in the most important advise they ever got from their fathers. One caller said her father told her "Remember honey, You've got to be tough when you're stupid". On one hand, that seems like a pretty callous, non-supportive thing to say to one's kid. On the other, I can see it as kind of an admonition...something along the lines of "IF you're going to do something stupid, remember you've got to be tough to deal with the fall out".

I often hear people use either the stupid label or the crazy when others just don't agree with our thoughts or beliefs. It's an easy hole to fall into. Especially if you're smart. Or think you are.

OK, so, what's my point? Um......not sure.
I guess I would like to see in myself and others, a little more sympathy and compassion for those who are borderline mentally challenged in one way or another. Especially those who seem to know, somehow, that they're not quite up to the levels others seem to operate on. I see them really trying to keep up...As I feel that I'm constantly trying to keep up.

I say borderline because we as a society seem to be more supportive, more accepting, of those who are severely diminished in thought capacity or quality. It's those who are on the borderline we have no patience for.
Do we think that if they just tried harder they could perhaps be less "stupid" or "crazy"? Hard to tell, huh? I'm not saying we shouldn't try to help people. I could sometimes use some help with both perception and judgment. 
Maybe I'm just stating the obvious ad-nauseum?!? 
A line from a country song comes to mind - "Just be patient - I'm a work in progress".


  1. Sometimes it is good to re-state the obvious!

  2. I especially like the thought that you have to be tough enough to deal with the stupid things you do. Sometimes that means making things right, which is never easy.

    Thanks for reposting this, John.

  3. The photo at the top of this post is of a set of paper sculptures I did many years ago while studying art at Wichita State U.

    Some people thought it was stupid, some thought crazy. I still enjoy having done them.

  4. I thought those paper sculptures were so interesting when I first clicked over here!

    Good post--I'm glad you put it up here again.