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Thinking About It

“But at night, when all the world’s asleep, The questions run so deep, For such a simple man, Won’t you please tell me what we’ve learned” Supertramp 

“Intelligence in the accumulation of knowledge wisdom is the application of knowledge”  FeatherLeaf

One thing that being locked up in a psychiatric hospital affords you is time to think. You can question the answers. But no matter how much questioning you do if you don’t have the right data you  will never get the right answers. 

Thinking photoI remember my psychiatrist viewed it as part of my illness that I didn’t want to go to return to school and become an engineer. When I was young at life my dad never really interacted much with me in terms of guidance. He was absent from sporting events and not once did he sit down and help me with my homework. Neither would he inquire how my day was or how things were going. Rather he simply put food on the table and provided economically. He was after all a child of ‘the depression’. Still in hindsight I appreciate what he contributed.

My dad gave me two pieces of advice in my entire lifetime. One was that if I join the military it would be better to be an officer than an enlisted man. The second was that I should be either a doctor lawyer or engineer. While he never expressed it I believe he picked these three occupations as they all make a lot of money.

When I was seventeen I was nothing short of lost. If I really had a grasp on things I would have tried to be a writer. As it was I was very well prepared for a career in science. I had taken AP courses my senior year in both calculus and chemistry along with honors history and English. With a existentialist negativity I didn’t investigate colleges at all. Rather I only applied to one. I picked this school because a student named Anthony who was a year ahead of me picked it. Anthony tended to worry about things a lot and go into details, so I figured his decision was a good one.

It was at college that I started learning that I had been systematically deceived. I was taught that drug use was an instant route to failure. This data seemed to be accurate in high school. However at college some of the best students and athletes were heavily into illegal drug use. A great disconnect between what I experienced and what I was told began to form.

The disconnect only increased as I grew as a person. I was a very selfish and materialistic person. When I went away to college I realized that I had the opportunity to recreate my life with a group of people who had no prejudices against me. I found out that popularity was not all it was touted for as well.

I have learned many great lessons in life from many diverse and strange sources. Without a doubt Jesus Christ is my main influence, but he is not alone.

So here is a list of contributions all backed by my thinking

From the Native Americans- Never trust a European.

From my fraternity- People will do anything to be accepted.

From revolutionaries- The people have more power than they can possibly imagine.

From the F.B.I.- The governments main job is suppressing the population.

From Charles Manson- Chill out it just doesn’t matter.

From my own reality- All symbols are meaningless without someone giving them meaning. A red light in and of itself is powerless without the thought that tells you what a red light means. Which means money is only paper.

From African Americans- Life is unjust but live it to the fullest.

From people with money- Material wealth will not make you happy.

Finally from Jesus- Love no matter what.

From psychiatrists- Sanity is very arbitrary


Why don’t you post what you learned in life in the comments?


Please check out my science fiction book “I Should Have Been A Rock Star” it too will make you think.






Photos by michael pollak,

Thinking About It

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. (2018). Thinking About It. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 6, 2020, from


Last updated: 3 Feb 2018
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