It's good for the soul you know.
This is a long-running issue for me, this one. A dilemma.
It's better to be kind than right, and one should not mock the afflicted. That is to say, if a person is suffering from some sort of disorder, they can't help it, and making fun of them is cruel, and also rather pointless. It makes you look a complete arse anyway, because only other arses would laugh. We are all above that, I hope.
And yet, and yet.......
We break it down by category, don't we.
The vast majority of people are kind to and supportive of those with physical impairments. There are exceptions to this, I'm sure by now you've all seen this:
But generally speaking, we disapprove of such unkindness, and specifically don't make fun.
When it's a mental impairment we break it down still further. Most people are kind and supportive to those suffering from mental illnesses, such as PTSD, or to those with neurological differences such as Down syndrome.
Not enough perhaps, as anyone with autism can tell you about being bullied, and many people with neurological disorders have to "cover" for fear of discrimination. We've a way to go before true understanding and tolerance arrive in our society.
But there are two areas left where even the most politically correct struggle to find the right words to describe what we see.
1. The stupid.
I have spoken about this before, and nothing has changed. I am fortunate (and that's all it is, it's luck) to have been born with a high functioning intellect. It doesn't mean I get things right all the time, but it enables me to make rational decisions. It also makes it really hard to deal with people who don't think at the same level. I'm quite serious here. On the one hand my intellect tells me they can't help it, I should be kind and patient. On the other hand I get easily frustrated trying to explain things to people who just don't get it.
It's all relative, of course, if you have been diagnosed with an intellectual impairment, and some people actually have IQs so low they can't live alone, for example, that tends to fall into the area where we don't make fun. We are kind, we make allowances.
No, it's those who we feel ought to be able to understand that frustrate us. To all intents and purposes they are "average" or "normal". They can hold down a job, drive a car, read and write. They may even have a post-secondary education. But they make no effort to stop and think. They are credulous. And moreover they don't care. There is an element of willfulness here.
We actually say "Don't be stupid!" to people because somewhere deep down we think they can do better. Can they? I don't know.
This is a huge area for me in my efforts at being a kinder person, an effort I believe we all should make (and I very rarely "should" people) but it's hard. It's really, really hard. It's also a very interesting area of discussion, and one that I'm sure I'll come back to. It's not today's.
2. The gaga.
I suppose these are people who could be described in two ways. One would be very, very eccentric. I freely admit to being quite eccentric myself, but I do keep my feet on the ground.
The other way is "harmlessly insane."
Sanity, is of course, a scale. And very few people, if any, are at 100%. Every time you lose your temper, for example, you slip down a bit.
Just having a sense of humour takes you below 100, so there's no shame in being a bit off the wall. It makes you interesting, and creative. All creative people are a bit crazy.
But then there is this:
And the website:
Here's my confession, I want to laugh. I want to poke fun at those involved. I just called them gaga, after all. Beyond that I'm looking for a motive. Money? Attention? Maybe it's just a joke? If it were just one person it would be easy to say "she's mad, poor thing" but this is a group of people.
It's so easy to laugh, but as others commented where I found this...do you laugh? Or cry?
Do these people breed? Vote?
What does one say?
Should I be kind or should I call bullshit where I see it?
I have been criticized more than once for not being open-minded on some topics, and while I'd be the first to agree that an open mind is necessary, there does come a point where that door is so wide open, the mind falls right out.
Remember, before you decide where you stand, sanity is a scale. Credulousness is a scale. Open mindedness is a scale. No matter where you are on that scale, somebody is above and below you.
That's why discussions on religion get so heated. Think about that.
Anything that cannot be proven by science that YOU believe will put you lower down the scale than a person who doesn't believe it, in their eyes.
This is an extreme example, and it's probably harmless. It may even be an elaborate hoax for all I know. But things like this, but not quite as way out, crop up all the time. ALL THE TIME.
And I have to decide how to approach them. I can dismiss it as crazy. I can specifically use the word "pseudoscience" but often it doesn't even qualify, it's just too......what IS the word?
No, it's easy to laugh, it's easy to dismiss, it's easy to throw demeaning words around, and I do. I confess, I do. BECAUSE IT'S NUTS.
And then I think I must be kinder.
That is my dilemma.