In We’re All Crazy: Get Used to It, Jerold Skolnik explains the benefits of positive thinking and outlines a must-read guide to surviving in this mad world.
Do a little experiment. Take an empty glass and fill it half up with water. Now, what do you have? Do you have a glass that is half-empty or a glass that’s half-full? How you answer it speaks a lot—a lot, a lot—about your psychological profile, your view on things, and your understanding of the world at large.
You see, much of personal suffering can be attributed to the lens through which you perceive the world. If you have rose-tinted glasses, then the world is disgustingly rosy for you, but if you’re wearing a pair that’s colored grey—well, you’re looking at a grey world.
This, of course, does not mean everything will change for the absolute best, oh-my-God, the world is so much better.
Only that there are some things—a lot of things—that people take for granted, and a lot more things that people just simply brush off because of a jaded outlook on life. If you keep on telling yourself that you can’t ever do a thing before you even try doing that thing, how would you ever know you were good or bad at what thing?
In We’re All Crazy: Get Used to It, Jerold Skolnik discusses the importance of engaging the struggles of the world with the proper mindset. The world is, to say the least, absurd; it has always been so, some would say. Everyone is chained with limitless responsibilities. How can one journey through life with such a burden? How do you go against the craziness of it all?
Across forty-three chapters of tight and compelling writing, Jerry Skolnik gives readers a practical guide to go through existence unfettered and blissful and avoiding the icebergs that are ennui, depression, and burnout. In each chapter, Jerry Skolnik teaches tried-and-true techniques for keeping that smile from turning into a frown.
The Philosophy of Going Against the Craziness
Realizing that the world is crazy and wanting to fight against that craziness falls squarely into the school of Absurdism.
First developed by Albert Camus, a French philosopher, after the Second World War, Absurdism posits that life, the world, and the universe are absurd. The millions of ways and structures that govern the world, from the political to the personal, all lack sense and humanity. Living for a lot of people seems like periodically getting lost in a pitch-black labyrinth of mirrors with only a match to light your way.
Now, imagine that labyrinth with everyone you know inside it, groping around for a path, stumbling through corridors, and bumping into each other, all unaware of what exactly is the point of this whole shebang and if there is even an exit to be found!
Absurdism is best described by the myth of Sisyphus.
He was the mythological founder of the Greek city of Corinth and was known for his wit and craftiness. When he found himself in the Underworld, he cheated Death and escaped. He swindled the gods of Olympus multiple times but, as punishment, he was sent back to the Underworld and forced to roll a rock up a hill, and when it looked like he was reaching the top, it would roll back down, and he would have to roll it back up again.
This would be his punishment for all eternity.
For many, life is like that. Just pushing up a rock over the hill only to have to do it again and again and again. Yet, Camus says that despite the absurdity of it all, one must always fight against it; one must always, in Camus’s view, persist.
If the world seems bleak and inane to you, you must stop using that as a reason not to do anything, to stagnate.
You should stand up and look at the world as a challenge. Let that desire to be happy fill you with positivity, and let that positivity push you through everything. If the world is crazy, then you should go against the craziness by being positively crazier!
As Camus’s contemporary, Jean-Paul Sartre, another French philosopher, said: “Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”