|It's "normal" for people to be bigoted|
Psychologists and economists have a great deal of fun (and sell a lot of books) showing how innately irrational humans are. We’ll more easily buy something at $999.99 than at $1,000.00 (a difference of 1/10 of one percent), but we’ll buy coffee at Starbucks rather than turn the coffee pot on in the morning (at least a thousand percent difference). We’ll drink twice as much soda with a meal than we would at home because McDonalds is offering any size for a dollar. It doesn’t matter that the 2-liter bottle at home is cheaper per ounce; it doesn’t matter that we know soda is bad for us and that drinking a huge amount is a stupid thing to do. Speaking of food, think about dieting. Even if we have a huge motivation not to gain weight (ex: an extravagant wedding gown and
wedding photos/videos that we may have to live with for a half century) we still want (and usually eat) desserts and snack food. No matter how many times we read about the statistics that clearly show we are safer flying from point A to point B than driving, most people are much more nervous sitting on the tarmac than they are backing out of their driveways.
Then there’s the problem with word associations. If you’re not “normal,” then what are you? Mel Brooks has the answer for you:
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [pause, then] Abby someone. Abby who?Igor: Abby... Normal. Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [pause, then] Abby Normal? Igor: I'm almost sure that was the name. Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [chuckles, then] Are you saying that I put an abnormal brain into a seven and a half foot long, fifty-four inch wide GORILLA?[grabs Igor and starts throttling him]
There are no “normal” people, just ordinary ones, and people with mental illness are far more ordinary than they or others believe them to be.
What are some of the effects of this irrational thinking on ourselves, our loved ones, our relationships, and our treatment? I'll discuss that in upcoming posts.