What is so special about Adam Ant, Ludwig van Beethoven, Dick Cavett, Kurt Cobain, Rosemary Clooney, Charles Dickens, Larry Flint, Abbie Hoffman, John Keats, Margot Kidder, Jack London, Isaac Newton, Sinead O’Connor, Edgar Allan Poe, Dusty Springfield, Devin Townsend, Kurt Vonnegut, Vincent van Gogh, Brian Wilson, Virginia Woolf? And why might I and other members of the proletariat have the audacity to claim we share something with such a diverse, talented and creative set of personalities? It isn’t necessarily intelligence. It isn’t necessarily aptitude. It isn’t necessarily flair. It is that we are all gifted with a serious yet wonderful disease. None of us do it for money. None of us do it for fame. In fact, we do it because we cannot help not to. It is that we go around collecting things – things that may not make a real difference or sense to others but things are the world to us. We collect smiles, and tears, and laughter, exhilaration, fears and electronic cigarette lighters. We wouldn’t have it any other way if we could; we were born that way. Unfortunately, if we wanted to we would not be able to stop collecting. We also create. We might express ourselves in ways that are different. We might be thought of as being mentally disordered. We are. But we also possess an innate sense of compassion that is, possibly, the antithesis or antidote to man’s inhumanity to man. We care. And we achieve – whether we want to or not. It is programmed into our DNA. So when someone has the intestinal fortitude to tell you s/he is a manic depressive or has bipolar disorder you might not immediately think: OMG! Delusions of grandeur! Suicidal tendencies! You might just think that s/he has something marvelous to tell you.
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