For the best experience, open
https://m.greaterkashmir.com
on your mobile browser.

Where Meanness Meets Madness

They are psychological patients who turn out to be sadists and release their venom by damaging others
01:00 AM Jan 28, 2024 IST | Syeda Afshana
where meanness meets madness
Advertisement

They say the meanness of people should be taken as their madness for otherwise it becomes impossible to forgive them. Meanness means malice, the nastiness that certain people display through their attitude and actions. Such people don’t suffer from any ailment, apparently. They are quite conscious of their acts.

Advertisement
   

Madness, on the contrary, is insanity, a mental sickness where people lose their senses and fail to judge. It is a manifestation of a diseased mind. Therefore, taking meanness as madness sounds silly.

Advertisement

However, it can be argued that meanness is actually an upshot of misuse of a normal mind. When a normal mind starts functioning in a sly manner, benchmarks of right and wrong transform and discretion power gets corrupted. In a way, a mean person fails to use his mind correctly and starts behaving like a wild animal, pouncing and vandalizing all the treasures of humanity.

Why do some people turn mean? So much mean that meanness appears as madness? The reasons can be manifold, from personal to social grooming. All factors contribute in making of a savage out of a human soul. In a family unit, where material is accentuated more than moral, good rearing takes a backseat since concentration remains on temporal matters.

Advertisement

In a society, where corruption and every kind of misdemeanor is glamorized and granted social acceptance, moral vacuum is but natural. Nonetheless, all this does not all the time influence all the people to be mean. Perhaps, there are always some inner aspects of a personality that remain hidden from others and are triggered due to one or the other reason, and depending on the kind of exposure, get moulded into a very malicious frame.

Advertisement

In her debut novel The Center of Everything, Laura Moriarty, the contemporary American female novelist writes, “The only reason people are ever mean--they have something hurting inside of them, a claw of unhappiness scratching at their hearts, and it hurts them so much that sometimes they have to push it right out of their mouths to scratch someone else, just to give themselves a rest, a moment of relief.”

Advertisement

If it is so, then mean people are really ill. They are psychological patients who turn out to be sadists and release their venom by damaging others. However, the kind of respite they derive from such behavior, proves quite flimsy. The ‘damaged’ recovers eventually, but the ‘damager’ continues to live in a vicious cycle of pain as the person tries to inflict hurt on some other soft target.

Advertisement

But not every mean person is a wounded soul; no, not at all. Some are so because their personality carries an inseparable bug of wickedness. They are incorrigible. They have no reason to be in distress but they are compelled to be so. They become unhappy over the happiness of others; they are sad over the success of others. They have no grounds to cheat people but they cannot help. They inescapably stoop cheaply low.

In a famous riveting as well as comic story ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find’ by another American novelist Flannery O’ Connor, the main character, the grandmother, faces a problem of salvation. She confronts the murderous Misfit and a neglected four-year-old boy looking for the Kingdom of Christ in the fast-flowing waters of the river. Granny, all through the story, tries to locate the elusive categorization of “good” and in the process, she applies the label of “good” randomly, blurring the definition of a “good man” until the label loses its connotation completely.

In a way, when meanness dominates, it is difficult to define the meaning of goodness; to differentiate between good and bad people. When lies are processed and packaged, and then strongly spread, even Goebbels’s turns in his grave. When adversity is turned into an opportunity, even mad get madder. When contaminated medicines and eatables are sold, even meanness is ashamed. When charity material is hijacked, even wicked people get upset. When humans play crook, even scumbags get shitty.

Of course, there is an emerging movement of kindness that also runs along the poignant tale of meanness. The random acts of altruism, voluntary spirit, and all that. Still, in the fledgling kindness story, there remains the recurring factual theme of meanness. To get the cure of this meanness seems an indispensable part of ongoing survival struggle almost all over the world. And, this surely is not good news.

Advertisement