The other day I heard someone talk about craziness in a way that made me want to say mad instead. I realized that at the time we used the word “mad” to denote someone who was not quite in their right mind we might have been more correct than we thought.
I keep thinking about the craziness that happens. Someone finds their wife is having an affair and he kills her. A teenager feels left out or is harassed and they commit suicide or take the lives of others. A person is fired from their job and so they go they go on a killing rampage. Are these people really crazy or are they mad?
Mad evokes something in me that crazy doesn’t. Crazy just sends them outside the realm of feelings that I know. Mad, however, I understand. I really think the situations above are not the actions of crazy people but mad people. I don’t mean mad in the way it just means angry. I do mean mad in the way that means abnormal or is a synonym for crazy. Why is mad a better word? I think in those cases those people started out frustrated and angry. That anger and frustrated built up into the crazy rage that just had to explode and because of that lives were lost (in each case).
It seems like this sort of madness is all around us if you look for it. Road Rage. The anger in politics. The rudeness that happens so often at businesses.
As an acupuncturist, I know that anger is typically linked to the liver. When the liver is healthy, anger moves through appropriately and disperses. Anger is also a sign that something needs to be changed. It tells us that the situation we are in is not the way we want it. It may be bad for us in some way. Anger shows us that we need a creative solution to our problem
The liver is also about creativity. It pushes us to action. In today’s world where so many jobs are done at desks with the need for the same type of decision time after time, or the same sale time after time or making the same coffee time after time, is there any reason not to think we are lacking in creativity. We don’t exercise and play the way we should. Exercise is yet another thing that has to be done rather than a time for play with most people. There is a routine but no creative play. No wonder we are becoming a mad society.
We need to find places to move and express our creativity. This could be through writing or poetry, which are traditional creative outlets. It could be in play, creatively finding a way to move the body in ways that just feel good like children do naturally. It could be in making up stories about what we are doing as we garden or looking for a different look in the garden that pleases us rather than the neighborhood. Being able to take action is an important part of our creativity and loosening the hold madness may try and have over us. That means actually sitting down and doing the writing and not just thinking that you will.
Creative action is needed to keep the anger from festering inside. When it festers it can drive us mad. When it is used appropriately, it can make the world better for everyone.