Insanity!

Tell us about the last book you read (Why did you choose it? Would you recommend it?). To go further, write a post based on its subject matter.

Tell us about the last book you read:
“I am the King of the Roofs, Master of Sieges, Supreme Lord of Cuttings and Stabbings, Darth Vader of Destruction, Stylist of Attempted Murders and Guv’nor of Isolation. Who can beat that?”

This is the intro to Charles Bronson’s Insanity – the story of a life living with a little thing called insanity. Charles Bronson is not only the most feared and most notorious convict in the prison system, he is also an artist. He is said to be a man of great warmth of humor, although of that there was no evidence in the book.

Why did you choose it?
I have always wondered about people. What makes them tick, why are some people inherently good and other inherently bad? I would have loved to study psychology. Luckily I am in tune with myself and realized in time that it would not be a good idea. I find it very hard to distance myself from the problems of others and tend to make it my own. Psychology as a profession might see me ending up in a padded white room, safely secured in a straitjacket while humming away at tunes that do not exist. I had hoped that the book would give me some insight into the mind of a mad man.

Would I recommend it?
This is a tough really. The answer is yes only if you are in a profession where you deal with people who have, let’s say, questionable mental capacity, or wish to obtain a better understanding of the madness. The answer is a resounding no if you are easily scared, squeamish or under 18. Don’t be mistaken into thinking that this book is anything but hard core.

Write a post based on the content matter.
I received a BIG talking too from a professional on a forum lately about my ignorance with regard to human nature and the link with insanity. Like I said, I am not a professional. I am merely an individual who observes and questions. I would like to believe that we are all born equal. Here I am not referring to socio-economic status, even though I am in agreement that these factors will influence on it. I am only referring to mental capacity – the ability to distinguish between right and wrong.

I don’t understand how someone’s baby turns into a monster. You don’t need to look far in order to find an example. There are thousands of examples in the news. My quest is to try and understand why it happens. Insanity is something that we see on a daily basis, but the term itself is something that will differ from person to person. What I perceive to be insanity is something which you might perceive to be adventurous. What I perceive to be insanity might be a final means to an end for you. Our actions in every situation are based on past experiences. Our assumption of the future is based on the reality of our past.

What makes one person snap and do something completely insane out of pure desperation, while another person, in the same situation, might turn to someone for help? What happens in those final seconds of a crime of passion before a man kills his girlfriend simply because he can’t be with her? What happens in the mind of suicide bomber the second before he detonates a bomb with children all around him? How does a paedophile justify the act to himself when he is holding down a screaming, crying toddler? How does a murderer justify bludgeoning someone to death just because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time? How does an abusive husband call it fair and just when he beats his wife to a pulp?

Is it a matter of a chemical imbalance in the brain? Is it something that we are born with; a ticking time bomb, waiting to explode in our head. Is it something that can be tested for at birth and treated from day one? What is insanity?

The one question which remains the biggest in my mind is this: why are men more prevalent to commit such acts of insanity? What makes woman different. Is it really just a matter of how they were raised – cowboys don’t cry so they never really learn how to deal with emotion? I am busy reading “We have to talk about Kevin”, which Louisa borrowed me. It focuses on how the way a child is raised influences his actions and ultimately his sanity. Hopefully this book will give me more answers than Insanity by Charles Bronson.

Not a single one of us have a life of sunshine and roses. We all have our fair share of bad luck / bad karma, whatever you want to call it, to deal with. Why do some have the emotional intelligence to let it go, to learn from it and move on, while another might allow it to fester inside and rot away at his soul until someday, BOOM, it explodes?

If I find a genie one of my three wishes will definitely be to understand.

Happy Fathers Day!

Photo: http://www.e-devotion.blogspot.com

I love trees and I love my dad. No, my dad is not a tree, but every time I walk past a tree and hug it (yes, I am a tree hugger!), I think of my dad. I think of the magic he can do, what he can create from that old tree, when it come to the end of its life. When the tree dies, he will give it new life in the form of a TV cabinet or wardrobe, kitchen counter or a desk for the executive’s study.

Since I can remember wood has been an intimate part of our family. The smell of WoodDoc, mahogany stain, varnish and sawdust mixed in with Old Spice after shave (I don’t think he ever used Old Spice, but for some reason it’s part of the equation) will forever be “daddy” smells to me. His furniture has adorned houses around South Africa for many years and, just like him, these items are strong enough to wither the storm and stand the test of time.

What is a father? Someone said “Any man can father a child, but it takes a real man to be a daddy”. Pope John XXIII said it is easier for a father to have children, than it is for children to have a real father. The meaning of father will be different for all of us. What makes my father a daddy?

His roots are firmly grounded and will not waiver. He knows what he stands for. He has a very firm set of beliefs and even though he will never impose them on you, they are always there. He taught me about Jesus and taught me about life.

Like a 100 year old tree in the Amazon, he is always there. We are both stubborn. In fact, I think I got that from him. This, of course, has led to a somewhat explosive relationship over the years. If I make a decision, my dad will never, ever tell me not to do it. Instead, he might tell me why he thinks it’s not a great idea and send me off to do my thing. If I make mistakes, as well all do, my dad is there with open arms, waiting for me to return. Never will he tell me “I told you so”, instead he will do what he can to help me pick up the pieces and start over fresh.

Like the tree accepts the weather, he accepts me for what I am. My dad has never tried to change me. I know that I am good enough and that he is proud of me, no matter what. He loves me unconditionally. Never in my life have I felt that I am a burden to him or that I am intruding on his life. His door and heart is always open, filled with love and laughter.

Even though I might have broken his heart a hundred times in my lifetime, he has never stopped believing in me. He has loved from the day I was born and I know that he forever will. A daughter will forever be her daddy’s little girl. For a girl, her daddy will always be her first love. Someday she might find her prince in shining armour, but here daddy will always be her king.

A nonnet for my dad:

A tree standing on the river bank
Roots deeply settled in the ground
Tall and strong, unwavering
Branches gently swaying
Soaking up sunlight
Drinking the rain
My daddy
Always
There

Ek is lief vir jou pappa!