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August 20, 2011 / W. Stanton Smith

Crazy R Us

The story goes that during the 1930s a  yogi  from India was traveling by train from the East Coast of the U.S.  to Los Angeles. He was in full regalia, turban, robe and sandals. Seats in this particular train compartment faced each other and sitting across from him was a famous movie star. The movie star frowned at the yogi and generally kept up a disapproving scowl for an extended period of time. Finally, the yogi spoke to the movie star and said,”Excuse me why are you making such a face at me?” To which the star replied, “That’s none of your business”. The  yogi said, “It is my business because I have no choice but to look at your face for many more hours”. The star laughed and what follows is a lesson for us all.

The yogi said,” We’re all a little bit crazy in this world. We seek to associate with people who are similarly crazy to us and we sometimes disapprove of people whose craziness we don’t know about. I know who you are and your movie business craziness but you don’t know my craziness. Fools argue and wise people discuss. So let’s learn about each other’s craziness. They ultimately had a very constructive discussion and enjoyed the  trip together. Neither tried to convince the other that his craziness was better or worse than the others. They just learned how to be comfortable in each others company during the journey.

That is what we need in this world right now; a willingness to be comfortable with each other’s existence whether we agree with them or not.  No ridicule and withering criticism…just respecting each other. Why? because at the base of it we’re all crazy from some point of view. So let’s admit that we’re all perhaps more than a little crazy. If we accepted our own craziness and that of others, we’d be on the road to a more civil and constructive tone in public and private discussions. The tone has to improve if all of us realize that we may not be quite so sane as we think we are and that we could be wrong in ways we’d been blind to. Sound crazy…maybe so but what other advice can one crazy person give another.

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