Veronika Decides to Die

What is the definition of sanity?

It's a consensus among the masses as to what is the norm, the standard, the typical, the expected, the usual. Over time, a society agrees upon the proper decorum and expects its members to abide by it.

To sing and laugh when expected is sane. To sing and laugh when unexpected is insane.

Insanity is when one decides to break free from the mould, to cease adhering to the invisible laws that govern the society. Many times, scientists - Copernicus, Newton, Darwin et al - and artists - Pollock, Matisse, Hirst et al- are deemed mad for the radical ideas they have, ones that don't conform to the norms.

But, are they the mad ones? If they are not mad, then people who accused them of being so are.

All too frequently, people get put down for what they are about to attempt. 'That's crazy, it won't work.' 'You're not talented, don't even think about it.' 'Don't be an idiot.' 'Why are you doing this?' 'You're trading your future away, that's what you're doing.'

And all too frequently, they acquiesce. They submit passively to expectations, shrivelling within. Is this a more apt definition of madness? To behave normally and satisfied, to let each day pass dully and blindly, to be someone like any other along the streets?

To act different from what one is such that one can be the same as others?

And so, Veronika concludes. The world's filled with insane people who appear to be sane.