Why Do Sane, Rational People Do Stupid Things?

Peter B. GiblettStarred Page By Peter B. Giblett, 6th Sep 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Personal Development>Self-awareness

Are you sane or stupid? This seems a question we could ask at almost any time when otherwise rational, sane people do stupid things. Are humans living at a different level to animals or are do we have a stupidity gene in-ground in our DNA? It seems at time normal rational people just take a leap in the wrong direction.

Irrational or Disturbing?

We all like to have fun, but for some their definition of fun seems to be at odds from society as a whole, fighting, drugs, and crime seem to be the only thoughts for some youth; is this merely a passing fad, or is this the course of the rest of their lives? In truth there are many things we can overhear that are either irrational or disturbing.

Have you been here? Sitting in a train you overhear the graphic details of two youth and their nightly exploits. Their story: after some crazy driving across the city streets, they stopped hard, scattering a crowd in all directions, then all four youths got out of the car in order to start a fight with an unsuspecting youth - all because of something said on-line earlier that evening, their fun turns serious after punching and kicking the kid then one of them takes his baseball bat from their car and smashes it across their victims face before returning to their car and fleeing the scene, leaving their victim sprawled out on the street. Sure you have seen this type of behaviour before on real-life police shows.

Our normal reaction was to assume that everything said was mere bragging, yet it could be far worse. This example was actually based on something reported by a witness in a local newspaper to the crime that had happened one Friday night, the graphic details of the brawl it may have been dramatised by the reporter to make it seem a worse problem than it really was, but that truth is that senseless violence seems to happen all too frequently these days. It is clear that for many, whether young or older violence and fighting have become a part of their normal culture.

Are there Two Forms of society?

In truth we all do stupid things from time to time, but usually that relates to losing our temper and shouting at someone, but once we have blown of steam we settle down and most likely profusely apologise to those we may have offended, in truth it is a part of our animal nature asserting itself, but we have a choice and usually are able to reign it in, but some people do not have the ability to control themselves, and take irrational action after irrational action.

Are there two forms of society? Some people, seem to be treading on a path of self-destruction, for most of us the concept of deliberately picking a fight seems too crazy to comprehend, yet there seems to be an underbelly of society where this seems to be the norm, say something that offends them and they will smash up your property or leave you in physical pain.

Many years ago I recall an article about a bank manager who was arrested for violence that happened as a fan at an international soccer match, truth is normally people in responsible positions do not normally put that at risk, apparently this individual was a member of a skinhead gang and he led crowd violence in and around games. The two personas described here seem inconsistent with each other and it is right to question how an individual attained a position of responsibility, yet had another very dark side to them. Naturally after his arrest this individual lost his job and bank employment policies changed.

Mental Atitude

The mental attitude of some people is highly questionable, they seem to live on base animal instincts, we have all heard the youth that questions 'HOW DARE' another kid disrespect him, is his attitude an example of base animal instincts at work, the survival of the strongest at work? It seems that for some everything here was centred on them and them alone.

Surely as humans are supposed to be civilised! Unprovoked fighting is hardly a civilised response to anything said or done by anyone, to most of us it is better to walk away from any fight, that is surely the civilised approach, so what if we consider that we have been insulted, people should be capable of thinking beyond base animal instincts, indeed there is only one form of 'fight' that is worthwhile - words and ideas, they can be worth fighting (verbally) for; how do we as a society move people from fisticuffs to other forms of challenge?

Ignored by Society?

Can it be that these individuals feel ignored by society at large? Or is it simply that drinks, drugs, sex, and crime are more appealing to certain people?

These are good questions, but for most people if we are ignored by society we do not turn to violence, no matter how much it hurts inside - we may reach out to our friends or even healthcare professionals for help, but we stop the basest of animal instincts from welling up inside us, we do something about it.

It is clear that drinking, drugs and other addictions are a simple way out, and in truth there is no easy answer here. To some extent society has to play a role in ensuring that people do have a future, and are not left leading mundane unfulfilled lives, recessions are the worst of times because some people have no money, no prospects and no future and this is where society as a whole needs to take on some social responsibility, but also the individual has to play a role and ensure they have a future.

More Articles that may Interest You

This article was formerly published on Triond, it has been edited, re-formatted and re-styled for Wikinut. Other former Triond articles include:

The following articles, have each been published by Peter Giblett and may be of some interest to you:

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Brawl, Crazy Driving, Crime, Crowds, Deliberately Picking A Fight, Drugs, Fighting, Fights, Ignored, Ignored By Society, Street Brawl, Youth

Meet the author

author avatar Peter B. Giblett
Author of "Is your Business Ready? For the Social Media Revolution"

Social media consultant, with C-Level background.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
6th Sep 2013 (#)

I believe all unprovoked violence is totally demonic in origin and evil .. Peter , and without excuse .
bless you

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
7th Sep 2013 (#)

you do hit the nail on the head Peter..I think demonic a bit strong to describe these actions but then religionists will always take things to extremes...

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
7th Sep 2013 (#)

Great peice Peter, you really did it!

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author avatar M G Singh
7th Sep 2013 (#)

Well written and properly highlighted.

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author avatar Randhir Bechoo
7th Sep 2013 (#)

Interesting article.

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author avatar Ian R Thorpe
7th Sep 2013 (#)

Interesting thoughts on a topic I have written on but not posted here yet. I think from the mid - to -late nineteenth century we have lived in societies that were detrimental to the type of human communities that evolved as we evolved. This people become disconnected from each other and feel the need to seek attention by inappropriate means.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
7th Sep 2013 (#)

Ian, it sounds interesting - I do hope that in some small way I have encouraged you to complete and publish your item.

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author avatar writestuff
7th Sep 2013 (#)

Society acceptance of violence and inappropriate reactions to events inform our realities. I have come to believe the less we experience peace, social justice and random acts of kindness the more prone we become to irrational behaviors.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
8th Sep 2013 (#)

We want people to take pride in our soldiers; "we" (not me, but...) want our boys to play football. To avoid violence is as often a sign of a "pansy" as a peacemaker. And maybe this is only true in and of the 'States, but it's a pretty big country and we definitely see the results here. And it leads off in other ways -- we don't want people drinking to excess, but those that don't drink are ostracized from many events. Smoking is out of fashion now, but this was not always the case. And "boys will be boys" is applied to more than recklessness. Girls have their faults, too. It is a big issue for many. Thanks for the mental exercise.

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author avatar Denise Salmon
10th Sep 2013 (#)

We really need to pay more attention to these issues. Thanks for sharing

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author avatar Trillionaire
11th Sep 2013 (#)

Learn, and sometime they don't know.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
12th Sep 2013 (#)

Thank you Peter for looking at multiple perspectives on this social problem.

Also, for encouraging people to not just comment, but to create. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Ptrikha
23rd Dec 2013 (#)

Well, I feel that as the number of human beings on this planet is swelling, we are and would see many more cases of violent people, more conflicts. May be the % of people whose ideology is dangerous is swelling?

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author avatar Rose*
24th Dec 2013 (#)

I think it's down to people's impulsive side over-riding their conscious sensible side. Some people have very poor impulse control

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