We Have All Lost Our Minds

In the past week, we have watched people do and listened to people say terrible things. People are angry and scared. Some are happy. Some do not want to talk about it at all. The mix of emotions is very similar to those that have plagued the country in the past twelve years, or more, and reached their pinnacle in the last 6.

From the looks of it, we have all lost our minds.

It is no longer possible to have an honest dialog with those who disagree with you. Especially if you happen to be the more liberal of the two. I guess I should not say it is totally impossible. Nothing is totally impossible. There are always exceptions.

Which is exactly why it is not possible. We have reached a point where discussing ideas is getting muddled by an attempt to point out the exceptions as though that proves the other side wrong. Try to make a broad argument about an idea, and it seems like the adherents to the idea are there with examples of single individuals who do not quite fit.

There are always exceptions, but exceptions do not always negate the broader ideas being presented.

After the leaked SCOTUS opinion dropped, I shared a meme over my Instagram and Facebook stories that was simple text that stated, “You cannot ban abortion. You can only ban safe abortions.” I got a response from a conservative friend of mine saying, “They are not trying to ban abortion, they just want to leave it up to the states.”

As if that is a mic drop. When the reality is, Republicans in general and Conservatives more broadly indeed have it as an end goal of outlawing and prosecuting abortion. They literally want to ban abortion. Just this week, Mitch Mcconnell and other Conservatives have floated the possibility of nationwide abortion bans if given the opportunity to make it happen.

One SCOTUS opinion not banning abortion but attempting to give that power back to the states does not prove that they are not trying to ban abortion. The exceptions do not always negate the broader ideas.

This leads me to why I think we have all lost our minds. I do not mean that we have gone crazy, though it could definitely be argued that societally we indeed have. Rather, we ha e lost our ability to think reasonably and rationally. Emotions are running high, and as a result, the majority of our responses to things around us reflect that.

I work in an eye doctor’s office. We had a shipping error with an order. At the time, it was not going to create any issues. But further shipping delays indeed were going to cause the order to be a couple of days late getting back to us. Our being made aware of this coincided with the time the patient called to inquire about his order. We explained the situation, but he did not like that response. He was irate. Irrationally so.

I was at the store the other day, and it was rather busy. I had an issue with an item not scanning at the self-checkout. I was not too concerned about it. I just waited until the cashier came over to help me, since she saw someone else’s issue before mine. Other people were trying to wave her down and yelling at her. One lady even said, very loudly, “What is taking so long?” The cashier helped all of them before me. Even though my issue was first. Again, I just patiently waited. She got to me and said, “Excuse you!” even though she came from in front of me and I was not standing in the way of anything. I took three or four steps back anyway and she looked angrily at me and loudly said, “Step back, sir!” as if I had not moved.

We are just not thinking our words and actions through. With emotions running so high, it is quite possible that we are unable to.

This brings me to the picture of my cat.

Unless there is an immediate threat, the rest of the animal kingdom takes time to stop and observe the world around them. Yeah, it is a survival instinct. Taking everything in and making sure it is safe. Observing where the food is or might be.

My cat stopped and was sitting like that, staring out the open door for a good five minutes. Just watching. It looked as though she was just stopping to think.

We have all lost our minds because this is exactly what we are not doing. There is no reason to get mad at an optical technician because a UPS truck is running late. There is no reason to be rude to the one polite person in the checkout line.

If we would all just stop for a moment and think things through instead of just looking for the exceptions so we can shut the other side up, we could more rationally approach opposing views, and maybe even learn something about the flaws in our own.

We might even be able to get through this messy time we have found ourselves in and come out the other side as something resembling a functioning society.

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Jeremy Zerby

Jeremy Zerby

Hermeneutics, religion, pop psychology, self-help, and culture. They are all connected, and I am here to explain how.