Mental Health

Posted: 14th December 2012 by onyxhawke in Uncategorized
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One of the, if not the biggest problems with our society (Western society as a whole) is that it has become unnaturally dichotomous. There is good. There is evil. There is no other category. There is sane. There is crazy. Good = Sane. Evil = Crazy. While I certainly despise gray goo in literature, in real life it is the rule not the exception. The problem is the definitions of “good” and “sane” are in just about all cases “behaving as I would behave”. Evil and crazy are any and all things outside that first definition. As we’ve seen with Mike Huckabee  you need to be careful who you let define your good.

The problem with the dichotomy is that the spectrum of good/evil is far wider, and weirder. More importantly, the impact of pressure to change on people at different points on the compass will result in different results.  Tell someone who’s an absolute omega follower that they need to do what you tell them, and they probably will, say it to a beta that believes they are your equal or better and they might just challenge you for authority on the spot, or they might watch you waiting for you to show some sort of weakness. If you are an alpha type and you give the same order to another alpha, they might do what you asked, you might have a power struggle, they might pass it on to an underling, or they could completely ignore you. All of those behaviors are normal for their type.

The worst problems arise when we try and shape people beyond their functional type. Someone who is easily frightened, highly unathletic, compassionate almost to a fault, and lacks even the assertiveness to defend themselves is not an ideal police officer or soldier. Pushing them into a role like that will result in some form of dysfunction. At the other end of the extreme someone with a reasonable amount of athleticism, a handful more paranoia than average, and a willingness to be violent, is not going to make the best barrista, personal assistant, or janitor. Pushing them into a role like that will result in some form of dysfunction.

Dysfunction for the purposes of this post is “that which directly harms the individual or makes them detrimental to society”, which does not include things others just find distasteful. So playing video games six hours a day is functional; smoking crack, rape, assault, or drinking enough alcohol to interfere with their other activities would be dysfunctional.

So if we take each of the examples above, and from childhood push them in direction that will maximize what those two individuals are as opposed to what sociologists, school teachers, their parents, or whoever thinks they should be both are capable of contributing to a healthy society. A soldier without a little bit of paranoia is probably gonna die in a hurry and get others killed. A personal assistant who can empathize with their boss is more effective, and almost certainly makes their boss better in turn.

Differential function is a fact. Period. Gwen Stefani, Madonna and Diana Ross might have been pushed into being accountants and likely no one would ever have heard their voices. Given all the time each of the three has spent around music and doing other creative acts, how functional would they have been in a job that didn’t allow them that?

That differential functioning shows in all sorts of ways. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? If you like working with people do you do better with children or adults? Whatever it is, for you, and those you influence, tell yourself and those around you; go towards your talents and your own psychoemotional construction.

The most broken people in the world, including the one who wiped out his family and a class full of children are what they are before they pick up any tool. The ability to be “evil” is one that has existed since the first human walked the earth. Ill acts can be committed with teeth and nails, or 13th century technology.