In the middle of the social madness

Oman Sunday 31/July/2022 22:20 PM
By: Saleh Al-Shaibany
In the middle of the social madness

In the social madness we live in, not everyone we see around is sane as they fight the inner turmoil in a constant struggle to dismantle barriers on the path of their minds.

Some put up straight faces while the others have a constant smile as they walk along trying to perform their routine tasks in the social circles. In the jungle of the cities we live in, they try to lose themselves and forget the disruptions in their minds.

There is this man who comes at the coffee shop at the City Centre Mall, dressed up like Ernest Hemmingway, the famous American writer, with a thoughtful look on his face, looking straight at the ceiling. He is not interested in the crowd but in his own thoughts while still keeping up with the crowd. He would sit there seemed completely oblivious of everything around him.  

While trying to avoid a collision with a trolley pushed by a child, I noticed this man who looked exactly like Nelson Mandela.

He walked slowly, with his chin up and both hands behind his back. He was radiating confidence and there was ‘stately’ look on him that made me stop to watch him. He would look sideways at the crowd like he was inspecting people who were breaking the apartheid rules.

Both of them are in the ‘escape mental zone’ of the mind. When you come to think of it, the real Hemmingway and Mandela were not exactly what psychologists would pass as ‘sane’ people, not in the strictest sense of the word, anyway. They would not have excelled in their areas of expertise if there was not a string or two loose in their minds. That’s how ‘geniuses’ operate. They get their minds deep into the ‘cuckoo land’ to achieve greatness.

But what about the rest of us who are not looking to wander off in the land of greatness? `

We struggle to get the balance between what is real and what is not as we try to manage our daily lives.

To divert our thoughts into a comfort zone, the best of us are seen mumbling silently or rubbing hands as we walk along. What we really try to do is quickly get into the other side of the mind to run away from the harsh realities that threaten the wellbeing.

Is it natural to act that way? Again, the psychologists would say ‘it is not’ because they have been trained to think rationally. But what is rational, anyway. Maybe to programme the mind to act in a certain way the way computer works ?But the soft cells in our brains have the tendency of rebelling when we get into a dreaded routine.

When you come to think of it,  it is the routine that makes it harder to cope when the mountain of thoughts threaten to collapse. Perhaps changing the environment around us might be the answer. We need to allow a little room for unpredictability. 

Or simply, go back to something we abandoned long time ago before the pressure of life started to build up. We may find that simple pleasures like picking up a book or trying something new, might stop you from mumbling to yourself.