Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Confusing Want And Need

Confusion is a state of mind. Unfortunately, it appears to be spreading.

I work with extremely ill people. Most are just a knock away from admittance to heavens door. Take for instance the woman who threatened to sue us for "stealing" her shoe. The left one only, that is. The woman had a mild case of paranoia and was suspicious of the staff and anything we did to help her to be more comfortable. The depth of her confusion became apparent when she accused us suddenly one day of stealing her shoe. The foot matching the shoe had long departed the owner, but regardless of the how hard the staff tried to remind her that she had no use for the shoe for a long period of time prior to coming to us, she was sure she had it with her upon admittance. Oddly enough, during the entire time of trying to re-orient the woman to her medical history the fact that her left foot had been amputated did not register to her that she hadn't had any use for the shoe for a long time. She swore she would never have parted with the shoe regardless of her need for it. It was a sad sight to see someone so convinced of something so obviously opposite of the reality of the situation. She knew her foot was gone, yet clung to belief that the shoe was an important part of her possessions and was fighting mad that anyone would dare to take it away from her.

One woman, lost in confusion, suffered from the inability to separate need from want. Yet she represents the state of mind that exists on a much grander scale in the world. Somehow, the Arab nation has forgotten that they no longer possess the land that was established by the Allies as a safe haven for the Jews after WWII which eventually became the state of Israel. In the years since the Arab people have established governments and territories in which they could have lived productively, had they had the ability to go forward with their lives. But like the woman with the foot missing and believed she still needed her shoe, there are those Arabs who still believe 60 years later that the need to possess that tiny strip of land is crucial to their very existence. They do not recognize the fact that if they did possess the land it could not sustain them, they do not see that the lands in which they live could be viable and productive if they focused their energy towards making that happen - instead they live in the past, dwelling upon what was lost, maintaining a rage against what they perceive was stolen from them by a cancer they call the Jews and the surgeons who removed them bodily from governing the area, the Allies.

If the shoe were still to fit, the situation would be different. Instead a massive state of mind that dwells in confusion over the reality of the situation and maintained by paranoia and distrust has taken hold of these peoples senses. They are fighting mad (on a much more destructive scale than the poor woman with the missing shoe) and will bring about (through their confusion over want and need) great turmoil and pain by acting upon a whim instead of dealing with reality. To them (like the woman missing the shoe) reverting to the past and dwelling on possessions once had has consumed them to the point that they no longer recognize that even if they had the foot back that was lost, the shoe would still not fit and would basically be a useless possession.

What is even scarier is that when a person is so confused and convinced in their confusion they are right, their story becomes believable to someone who doesn't know the whole story. (One staffer who was unfamiliar with the woman's medical history and did not notice that under the covers only one foot was present searched diligently through the woman's room for the lost shoe). When dealing with someone irrational because of their confusion oftentimes it is easier to go along with them, instead of fighting the battle to refocus them to reality. The Arab nation does not need the land that the people of Israel reside in, but unfortunately for the world their conviction in their want of it has many (who would prefer the easy way out) giving in to their demands. By giving any credence to the irrational demands made by the Arab nation regarding the right of Israel to possess their lands, the world is escalating rather than stopping a bad situation from getting worse.

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posted by Is It Just Me? at 6:28 AM