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Proof In Life

“Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime” Chinese Proverb

The greatest engineer and maybe the most brilliant thinker ever Nikolai Tesla did not have a degree. Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates both didn’t graduate from college. So what is the key to success in life? The proof is in life. Jimi Hendrix photo

I vividly recall my fist hospitalization. There was some psych tech who was quite rude. He spent his working hours studying for his Master’s degree. When he was in group therapy he had a lot to say on how I should live. The story goes on though. I met this same psych tech on the outside of the hospital. It was at a party at the fraternity that I belonged to. This psych tech, who wanted to tell me how to live was leaning against the wall sipping from a beer. He didn’t interact with anybody but rather simply stared at the crowd.

I believe that a college degree is simply a piece of paper that indicates you will but up with and tolerate a lot of bull sh*t. This or course doesn’t hold for the sciences, math, and other fields. Ask yourself why should an art major have to take math courses? I understand the reasoning that diverse courses helps broaden one’s horizons. Still does a college degree really help one be a better boss?

College degrees are good excuses for keeping people down. I know one woman who worked at doctor’s office in billing. She didn’t have a college degree. They said she didn’t qualify to be the manager of the office. However they hired a woman who did have a college degree. My friend trained her for the job. The fact that my friend trained the new woman for the job clearly indicates to me that she had the ability to do the job successfully. In the engineering company that I worked at the best inspector I am told has no certificates at all.

I’m going somewhere with this. Conventional norms with life are broad and often wrong in their conclusions. Of course there is always an exception to the rule when nepotism and cronyism was involved. There is so much truth in the slogan “It’s not what you know but who you know”.

I want to narrow in on the field of psychology. I was confronted by somebody who trivialized my writing and asked why I didn’t quote some notable names in the psychiatric field. The primary reason I didn’t is because I don’t know much about these people. Secondly is that I can think for myself and I simply don’t have to regurgitate what some expert in the field said. Many Marxists are atheists but some hold the teachings of Marx as God and irrefutable. In the world of psychiatry Freud is held with similar reverence.

I remember in my personal studies that I picked up a technical manual of psychiatry and read about treatment of schizophrenics. The writing was new and very exciting. The techniques, if I recall correctly, focused on including  the family in the therapeutic treatment of the patient. Which if I understand correctly contradicts Freud’s technique. I believe the core issue is treatment of focusing on the external or internal. Apparently the new innovations were very successful and challenged premises taken for granted.

So what criteria should one use in evaluating life and furthermore giving advice. I say the proof is in the life. In my personal history I have come from a background of abuse. I have been in psychiatric hospitals nine times, three of which I was committed. Yet I went on to go back and graduate from college, attend graduate school, get a full time job and support myself, get married and to serve as a volunteer missionary in the inner city of Newark, New Jersey, among other things.

I learned a thing or two in my fifty years of existence which constituted extreme amounts of study. So if you are looking for me to quote some psychiatrist it ain’t coming from me.

One final note. Psychiatrists have never lived the life and know first hand what a person with mental illness experiences.

If you would like to read more about my life I have put down my journey in my memoirs “More Than The Madness”.


Photos by franela 🙂,

Proof In Life

John Kaniecki

John Kaniecki is a full-time caregiver for his wife Sylvia. He is a published writer and works with the Church of Christ. John has lived with bipolar for over thirty years and has been hospitalized nine times, three of which were committed. John has chronicled his life story in his memoirs "More Than The Madness". Also of note is John's book of poetry "Murmurings Of A Mad Man" which are poems written about being committed in Graystone Psychiatric Hospital. John believes in the power of words to change the world for the better. His website can be seen here. His books can be seen on Amazon. You can visit his personal blog "Turn A Page Or Two" here.

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APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2017). Proof In Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 19, 2018, from


Last updated: 4 Dec 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Dec 2017
Published on All rights reserved.