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Ahead Of Your Time

“But you’ve been told many times before, Messiahs pointed to the door, And no one had the guts to leave the temple!” Pete Townshend.

There was a time when if a person proposed living a life without a king that they would be laughed at with scorn and labeled crazy, but oh how have the mighty fallen.

Van Gogh photoVincent Van Gogh is recognized as one of the greatest painters ever. Yet in his lifetime he sold one painting and that was apparently an act of charity. Emily Dickinson had no poems published during her lifetime and a critic recommended that she change her style. Now she is regarded by many as the best female poet in the English language.

Genius alone is not a guarantee for success. Fortune and circumstance always come into play. People of less talent and ability become successful because they are in the right place at the right time while somebody else has no opportunity. Look at the feud between Edison and Tesla two scientists who were without a doubt geniuses. Tesla was a scientific genius while Edison the business genius. Tesla wound up in financial ruin while Edison faired better economically.

The past itself is being written and rewritten constantly. What we chose to remember speaks a lot of who we are. Presently we are in a phase of European dominance. More than that we live in a capitalistic society. So the robber barons of the past are celebrated while the heroes and heroines of the labor movement are more neglected. But come a paradigm shift and the emphasis we put on history could transform, to the point that one would not even recognize it. Every set of eyes sees the world differently, it matters who we are.

People who have mental illness tend to view the world in a very different way. An engineer looks at a building in a different way than an architect,  artist, or business person. So it is with people with mental illness we see things differently. This fundamental difference is extremely important in dealing with those of my community. We are no more wrong or right than anybody else. It is our experiences and circumstance that has shaped us. Let me tell you that losing one’s mind to the point where they need hospitalization in a psychiatric ward will without a doubt have a profound effect on life.

I saw a picture of the royalty of England sitting in a room full of gold. In my opinion, it was a sad and pathetic scene. Wars are waged for commerce and the environment of Mother Earth which sustains us is sacrificed for profits. Money is something of no worth holding no intrinsic value. If you doubt that look at what happens in a time of crisis. People with mental illness realize that the status quo is not acceptable. Their mental problems scream to that effect.

Having a mental illness I recognize that something is fundamentally wrong in the world. That is something adverse had happened to me to the point where I could no longer function. My thoughts were so bizarre and erratic that I needed to be put someplace safe for the safety of all. Once undergoing the experience my mind naturally contemplated all the aspects of my suffering. My views on life naturally changed.

People who suffer from mental illness tend to be far less materialistic than the average person. Mental illness is an isolating phenomenon where the person suffering feels alone and isolated as an outcast. As such we value companionship highly. I have seen great generosity amongst my kind. This is also fueled by the fact that we know what it is to go without. Thus we are eager to share a cigarette or to buy somebody coffee and much more.

I firmly believe that the mentally ill community has valuable advice to give to the world. Each of us, the creation of Almighty God are unique. We have something of value to say and we can explain the lessons that we have learned. Instead, for the most part, we are marginalized and dismissed on the scrapheap of being a burden.

Herein lies the argument. Those who hold power are for the most part highly educated and claim by that criterion they should control the positions of power. But an honest analysis sees the world wanting in many aspects in dire ways. Thus the argument fails. The evidence proves that those who keep power should have that power taken from them and shifted to somebody else. The well educated run the world and they are doing a shitty job at it. It is a world of constant war, poverty where there is wealth, and a lack of brotherhood amongst its peoples. It is time to listen to a new voice. I challenge you to befriend a person who is mentally ill, and listen to what they say, try to understand. It will benefit you the most.

The times need to shift once more or mankind will not survive. My community, the mentally ill, have something valid and important to contribute. Be wise and listen.

Please check out my book of poetry called “Polishing The Fragments.” This book explores my unique world in a book of artful work.


The Song Of Life

All the orchestra in their fine Tuxedos
Chains of gold binding them to their seats
Enter stage left an electric guitarist
The rocker is dressed in ripped blue jeans
Laying down a revolutionary rift
The cruel conductor fiercely frowns
But this is the song of life
I defy predestination embracing free choice
For ye see I know I have a voice
And I am speaking even now
So many sit politely at their meager piano
With simplistic sheet music before them
Do, Re, Me they tap the keyboard with a single finger
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
I soar in the heavens upon eagle’s wings
Still I know my place
Blessings are all by grace
Perception is more than looking with your eyes
Vision is discerning past the lies
To dare to defy
To be bold and ask ‘why?’
There is more to a song then the melody
The lyrics are truly the key
Words define, bind, create thoughts in the mind
Concepts and theories gather like clouds of rain
Truth came to me in a devastating deluge
You can sing however you please
You are free
You can sing however you please
But there are consequences to be had
Life thrust me down upon my knees
When I defied the god of mammon
A psychiatrist came to examine
The diagnosis was that I was mad
Perhaps I was truly insane
But what of those clearly living life in vain
Corporations which destroy the environment
The military that violate young people’s will
Creating automatons who willingly kill
Bankers who lustfully covet in zealous greed
Yet have more than they will ever need
And me, alas poor pitiful me
All I wanted to do was save humanity
But I sung out of key

Photos by Bold Frontiers,

Ahead Of Your Time

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. (2019). Ahead Of Your Time. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 5, 2020, from


Last updated: 14 Mar 2019
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