For those of you that had a good laugh at my expense regarding my niece’s association between her topic for a speech at school and me, I thought I’d share the final product of what I wrote for her. The actual topic was Disordered Minds and not Destructive Minds. I’m still not too keen on the association though. There’s some subtle self-indulgence given that she is not aware of this blog of mine, so I included a few of my own quotes in the third person, in the hope of indoctrinating her with my ramblings. 🙂
I’m eighteen. It’s that age when I believe I have all the answers and grow frustrated at the stupidity of the world. It’s also that age when the intensity of my emotions often overpowers my sense of reason. Worse still, it’s that age when the government believes that by having existed for this long, I am supposedly capable of making important life-altering decisions for myself. But nonetheless, it is an age full of passion, often misguided, but always full of desire to change the world. I’ve lived an interesting life, often with more challenges than most, but those challenges have shaped me into who I am today.
This realisation of self has not come easily. It has come at the expense of significant sacrifices and often tough choices. Before you dismiss me as being smug or conceited, hear what I have to say, then reflect on it, and lastly be brutally honest with yourself about the truth of it within the context of your own life.
When faced with the prospect of having to write a speech on a selection of topics made available to me, I couldn’t decide between Disordered Minds or True Love. This confusion arose not only because I can often relate to both, but also because I see so much genius being wasted around me. True love is often quoted as being the trigger for much insanity in this world. This world is still a largely undiscovered space for me, although having access to Google often fools me and many of my peers into believing that we have acquired a level of wisdom that elevates us beyond many adults in our lives. However, we fail to realise the difference between the acquisitions of knowledge, versus the acquisition of wisdom. So I won’t assume to be an authority on true love, which leaves me with no other option but to write about that which plagues me most, a disordered mind.
“A sane person to an insane society must appear insane.”
This quote by Kurt Vonnegut reminds me of the reality of life as a teenager. Allow me to repeat that. A sane person to an insane society must appear insane. There is wisdom in this beyond what is immediately obvious. One of the points this raised for me is that in my quest to determine the course of my life, I often fail to realise that I may not be using the correct point of reference against which to determine the soundness of my decisions. Having the correct point of reference makes the difference between peace and chaos, or intelligence and stupidity. I also realised that my point of reference must be aligned with the value system that I want to live by. But this would mean that I would need to have established my value system before choosing, or else my choice will be grossly misinformed.
Consider this. Would you watch the evening news or Isidingo* to determine the state of reality in South Africa? Although I must admit that with all the shenanigans by politicians these days, Isidingo is not far off. But seriously though, by extension, it would be foolish of me to look to other similarly troubled teenagers for direction on how to lead my life, when they’re obviously grappling with the same or similar issues as I am. This is what I mean by choosing my points of reference.
Being bombarded with nonsensical and often inappropriate adult themes in movies, advertising, and promotions of all kinds, it makes it easy to assume that what we see around us is the only reality there is. If we just scratched very lightly beneath the surface, we’ll quickly witness how it all falls apart. Most of our choices are driven by a single feeble motivator; that is social acceptance. More often than not, I see people doing things they despise simply because their need for acceptance is greater than their need for self-respect.
“Of all the things we take for granted in life, our power of choice is probably the most abused gift we’ll ever receive.”
These are the words of a blogger that goes by the name of ‘Cynically Jaded’. There’s one more thought that the same blogger shared that I believe is most appropriate right now:
“There are two things in this world that should never define you. Society, and age.”
Disordered minds are those that cave in to peer pressure and forget what they stand for. Disordered minds are a social liability. Be true to who you are, and remember that only those that stood apart managed to change the world, because those that tried to fit in faded into the background of the crowds that tried to be just like everyone else. Normal is over rated. I’d rather be unique.
*Isidingo – South African soapie that often deals with topical issues affecting the average South African.