My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
Obliviousness is a social menace. It is the pampered feet in the comfortable boots that march roughshod over the lived experiences of others, the whole time believing it is engaged in some form of “doing good”; that it isn’t sexist, racist, homophobic, or bigoted in any way. Obliviousness bangs on about its right to rape metaphor and freedom to offend. Obliviousness, sadly, is an antidote to its own antidote: reading widely and with a high level of comprehension. Obliviousness is convinced it does not need to do this, because it thinks it knows enough. Hello? Obliviousness? Am I getting through? Will you go out into the yonder to read more widely and with comprehension, or are you hunkering down for another fight about why you are really right? – T.O. Molefe on Thought Leader about the need for people to read books and stuffBACK TO TOP