My friend Kaveh, a doctor, once asked rhetorically, "Why is it that when people hear voices in their heads, the voices are always telling them to do really bad things, like kill people? Why can't schizophrenics hear voices that tell them, 'You should go plant some flowers in a quiet corner in the park,' or 'You should go pick up garbage and deposit it in the proper bins,' or something productive or creative?"
The complexity of the mind is unfathomable. In the twisting labyrinth of neural fiber lies ample room for variation. This is what makes it possible for each of us to set our own unique identity. But unfortunately for many people, nestled in this infinite variation are the seeds for self-destructive behavior. All of us have been touched, in some way, by mental illness -- some of us even have degrees in it -- treating it, not suffering from it. --- well, there was this guy...
Mental illness comes in many different forms; some destructive to ourselves or others, and some which can be harnessed and channelled, propelling us towards fabulous accomplishments.
This week, we ply our rational haiku minds to the topic of mental illness in its myriad forms. And as we do so, remember, but for an infinitesimal twist in the wiring, any of us could have suffered from these disorders (and some of us, to varying degrees, actually have). On the other hand, but for an infinitesimal twist in the wiring, any of us could have written the world's finest novel or solved the energy crisis, or done many other more notable things than churn out haiku on a Wednesday.