May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This blows my mind, as we are supposed to celebrate those with altered states of awareness with awareness. I ought not talk, though; I am the craziest person I know. Just this morning I was contemplating never voting again because so many good people who promulgate policies with which I disagree consider me a moron.

You see it all over, but nobody is complaining. It used to be that there was an advantage to playing by the rules, being considerate of each other, working hard, and all that. Now, it seems the shortest route to a decent-paying job is chemical addiction. It is the families going into business for themselves who live in dumps feeding their snot-nosed ragamuffins with ramen. Addicts can get set up with a nice house, a nice job, and whatever else. I don’t get to go downtown much anymore, but it used to be full of waiters and waitresses with advanced degrees.

In my vast insanity, I still have not renounced my illusions harbored about the Industrial Revolution bringing so much comfort and leisure time to the masses because people saw the advantage of solving work-related problems with mechanical engineering equations rather than witchcraft and incantations. Achievement is its own reward, but then it is taxed. Dare I say it appears our nation is plagued by a curse of disdain for character-building endeavors.

I, like many, am torn because of circumstances. Most of us have persons with mental illness in our lives. I hate myself for doing so, but in my interactions, I submit my will to theirs. That is, if I have something important to do, like hammering bureaucrats to resolve technical glitches with somebody’s prescription fulfillment or bank accounts, I will drop what I’m doing to honor said person’s wishes that I hold something while they rearrange their sock drawer for the next forty-five minutes. In the old days, the proper course of behavior would be to help the mentally ill overcome their obsessive compulsivity, not feed it.

We teach patience and tolerance, but I draw the line when some guy is calling me Eve, quoting scripture about why I must marry him, and telling me how all his problems could be solved with some close physical contact. I can’t fault people with damaged brains for not making a lot of sense, but I think our policies and collective rhetoric give people incentives to play crazy. How glorious it would be if we could just have one day called Conscience Day, where we raise awareness about our ability to choose right and wrong and stand up for things that make socio-economic sense rather than PC blubbubbub. So daring.