My best friend Mike and I were going to the grocery store one night, and I brought up the name of someone we went to high school with, and I asked if he knew what that dude was up to these days. Mike said the last he heard this guy has a severe case of schizophrenia, can’t hold down a job, and was trying get on or is on disability. I then asked Mike “do you feel sorry for him?”
Mike said he did, citing how fucked up this guy’s family was, and Mike felt that the guy didn’t have much of a choice other than also being fucked up. My rebuttal was that I didn’t have the best family life (and public school was absolute hell for me) , yet I didn’t resort to the choices he did, and I’m currently doing quite well for myself. I say choices because during high school this former friend got into doing drugs, particularity acid, and at that point, our friendship came to an end. The onset of his schizophrenia happened after he started doing a shitload of acid. That’s why I say choice. If his schizophrenia was a hereditary condition, it was most likely exacerbated by his heavy use of acid.
I tend not to feel sorry for people when their problems are self-inflicted ones, but I’m also able to see the cycle he was trapped in. He felt socially displaced at school and had to deal with an abusive dad. One could say these were contributing factors leading to him getting all drugged out, but he still made the conscious choice to do a bunch of acid. Due to constantly being ostracized at school, this kid desperately longed for a place to belong, and he found it in the drug culture. That clique is not an exclusive clique: anyone with enough money or the dope to kick down can find a place to belong in it.
After mentioning I didn’t have the best childhood, but I didn’t windup like that, Mike then came up with one of his more fitting analogies/metaphors. He said someone being in a fucked up situation they have no control over is like being stuck in a jail cell. Some people will pass the time by getting a hold of deck of cards and playing solitaire, and someone else ends up bouncing a ball off of the wall to stay sane, but Mike said, in response to dealing with displeasing, fucked up circumstances in my life, I find a hacksaw and end up sawing through the cell bars.
He said my intelligence and restlessness is the equivalent of a hacksaw. His explanation of why my response was a hacksaw approach validates my belief that we are all different, something that is often downplayed with the modern promotion of the fallacy of egalitarianism. My internal drive, resolve compels me to push forward where others would have fallen and given up. As society has become seemingly obsessed with promoting ideas of egalitarianism and equality, the innate qualities that make someone who they are often downplayed or overlooked all together. Behavior can be altered,but personality is a fixed trait.