Thursday, February 03, 2005


Encyclopedia Neurotica

Nothing is ever your fault if you can blame it on a mental disorder. Thus, people who make stupid mistakes now make "bad choices" So says author John Winokur of the Encyclopedia Neurotica:

Welcome to the new Age of Anxiety where Western culture is beset by so much dread that "bad habits have been turned into diseases, foibles are afflictions and sins are syndromes," says writer Jon Winokur.

Now I'm no paragon of perfection, but this man has a point. I'm sick of hearing about how bullies are just insecure people with self esteem issues. Whether or not that's true, the fact is, they are ill-mannered brats sorely lacking in discipline who feel they have a right to harrass other people who have done nothing to them. Yet I never read or hear about the lack of civility in children and adults. It seems like every act of rudeness or abuse is explained away by some root cause. It's usually "poor self-esteem" or sometimes it's attributed to stress. And both are non-issues in my view.

The fact is, you have children and adults who feel that whatever issues they have GIVES THEM THE RIGHT to act out against other people. That's the core issue.

Yet still, the conventional wisdom has it that people who are truly secure, with good self-esteem would not feel the need to act out the way they do. That's partly true. But to that I would still respond that poor self esteem or stress is still no excuse for treating others badly. In other words, these spoiled, self absorbed people should just fake it till they feel it.


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