Below is what the definition is not:
"Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results," loosely quoted by the great theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein.
Although, I do believe that the notion of doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is also a quality that is intrinsic to humans. Just think of children getting into shenanigans, or your habits that you incessantly try to break. Or the goals you continuously attempt to achieve and come to similar roadblocks every single time.
But what I am referring to is the 'true' definition of insanity.
Important note: I am not referring to the criminally insane, so for the sake of the sanity of this post let's leave the criminals locked up.
So let's take a look at some of the definitions of insanity - or rather the root word insane:
- Immoderate; wild
- Very foolish; absurd
- Mentally deranged; crazy; of unsound mind
- Utterly senseless; irrational
- In a state of mind that prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction
- (Of an action or policy) extremely foolish; irrational or illogical
(From The Free Dictionary and Oxford Dictionaries )
Some synonymous of insane:
Mad, bananas, bonkers, crazy, ridiculous, irrational, nuts, off your rocker, bizarre, wild, nonsensical, lunatic, unbalanced, loco, silly, batshit crazy (probably my favorite)
What then is is the opposite? Or, the antonyms?
Sane, rational, logical, normal, sensible
Are we all born rational, sane, and logical? Are we all born... normal? Is this what we are striving for? Is this what we wish to teach our children? To not be but to conform?
Normal is a learned state of being. Normal is learned way or living. Normal is not... natural.
How often are we not afraid to get to know another human, but rather to let them get to know us? Let them in to see the dusty nooks and crannies of our own minds. Revealing to them all of the things about us that make us ... us. And yet, they would not be drawn to us in the first place if we weren't who we are as an individual. If we did not embody our quirkiness. I have seen this time and time again in romantic relationships. People start losing themselves and begin to let go of who they are to blend more into the other person's life and then they begin to bump heads - they begin to question what they ever saw in the person. They have both changed so much and let go of who they really are that they fall out of love or lose attraction for one another.
The most uneasy I have felt around another person is when I can't pick up on who they are - as if they are not comfortable with who they are - they can't be alone with themselves and they haven't yet relaxed into their-self enough to be content with everything that makes them ... them.
I can't help but think about some of the most influential people in history - and of course this is just a tiny fraction but I think of people like Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Martin Luther King Jr., Elvis, Madonna, Oprah Winfrey, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Anne Frank, Rosa Parks, Lao Tsu, Steve Jobs, Michael Jackson, Babe Ruth, Sigmund Freud, Leonardo da Vinci, Amadeus Mozart, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Albert Einstein, and Gandhi.
No, I did not personally know any of these people (although I do think I knew Janis Joplin in another life but that is another post entirely), but I don't think normal or even sane are words that we would use to describe any of them.
Brilliant, eccentric, bold, unconventional, extraordinary, profound, provocative.
These are some of the words I would use to describe many of our great influencers.
So perhaps some of us more than others - or more accurately, some of us show it more than others, but I believe that we all have a little madness. That we are all a bit insane. That we are all just a little... batshit crazy.
Here's to insanity,
Relish in yours, and allow me to relish in mine.