Sanity is “the ability to think and behave in a normal and rational manner; sound mental health; reasonable and rational behavior.” Most of us believe we’re sane. But shockingly enough, most of us don’t behave “normally” or “rationally” – indeed, normalcy is even itself a shifting target. And if we’re talking about seeing the world for what it truly is and trying to navigate its unhinging complexities with rational, open-minded, balanced behavior, most of us fall short. We are not sane – but insane.
Indeed, it takes very little to be insane. A destabilizing upbringing, trauma, abuse, overwhelming health issues, a lack of education, a lack of love, being born in a stifling culture can easily render us incapable of being “rational” or sane. Sanity, then, as the antithesis of irrational, unreasonable behavior (that is to say, poor coping mechanisms) is not our default setting, but something we need to work hard on to achieve.
Sanity is the end-result of a lot of effort, trying, putting the time in to do right by oneself and others in order to make sense of this incomprehensible and defeating world. Sanity takes courage, it does not give up on itself, doesn’t give up on reality, but plows ahead virtuously, trying to navigate the real world like a small, tenacious craft on the high seas flanked by towering waves.
Sanity takes work. Insanity is an easier default, but we should strive against it. Insanity requires management, spiritual, emotional, physical, and medical management to become stable. We should not be hard on ourselves, each of us, for our insanity. Instead, we should work hard, day by day, to practice sanity as we can as much as possible, choosing the highest order of action always, in order to improve the global picture.