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The Thin Line Between Sanity and Insanity - Is Everyone Born Sane?

 Before you read this hub I would like to make you aware that I do not condone any type of violent or hateful behavior.

What Causes Some People to Cross the Line

We are all taught to treat others the way we would want others to treat us.  The differences of what is right and what is wrong is instilled in our brains at a young age.  We are taught to love and not to hate.  But why do so many of us cross the line between right and wrong everyday?  What causes one to cross the line between sanity and insanity?  The line is always right there in front of us, but why do some cross it to the extreme and others walk away causing no harm?  It happens everyday, every hour or even every minute, some have the power to think and others lose control causing damaging consequences on themselves and/or others.  Is it something we are born with or something that is taught to us?  Or is it something that some of us just learn on our own like self control.  Here are a few examples of what I mean.

Physical Harm to Another Person

 We are all faced with another person at one time or another that just gets on our nerves.  Someone that makes you so angry you just want to smack them.  But not everyone follows through.  But some do follow through and may cross two lines at once.  What I mean by this is that some people just have the thought of smacking or hitting someone else but would never act on it no matter how angry or annoyed they get at another person.  Then there are those that would smack or hit the other person to a certain degree.  Yes they are wrong for physical harm but they didn't do anything that extreme.  Then you have the cases of someone beating another person to death just over the simple fact of being angry with that person.  The first person uses self control and deals with it in a positive way, the second person crosses the line into the wrong, and the third person  crosses the line into insanity.  But why can't the third person just walk away and what is different between all three of them?  Did they each get taught differently through life or were they born differently?

Child Abuse

 I know there are all different forms of child abuse and each form is no better than the other.  Child Abuse is wrong on every level and there are no minor forms in my eyes.  But what causes some to lose complete control and take it out on a child.  I am a mother of 4 children.  My children are not angels, they break rules and have to face their consequences.  I believe in spanking and also disagree with spanking.  My kids know that if they do something very wrong they make get A smack on the rear.  It doesn't happen often but it does happen.  I know for myself if any one of my kids have me to the point of complete anger I will not even think of smacking them.  Mostly because I feel that if I am that angry I may smack them harder than I would if I was less angry.  No matter how mad they have me at that moment I will walk away from them or send them to their room.  Why am I able to make that decision while other can not?  I was spanked as a child so what stops me from spanking them every time they misbehave?  What causes parents to beat their children?  Why can they not just walk away?  A child is just that, a child.  They are not born knowing right from wrong, we spend years teaching it to them.  How can we as adults lose control that badly to harm our children?  Why doesn't everyone realize how much stronger you get when you are angry and just walk away and calm down?  We as parents know what it is like to feel like you are going to snap, or feel like knocking your kid's head off, but the fact is we don't do it.  You come close to that line but you stay on the right side never crossing over.  But why can't everyone stay on that side?


 Love is something I think you are taught from the moment you are born.  The love you feel from your parents and family shows you how to love others.  I don't think you are born knowing to love.  But for some of us even love is dangerous.  You go through life loving others, some will love you back and some will not, some will accept your love and some will reject your love leaving you in heartache.  But those are all lessons in love that shape us as we grow.  What causes some to be so blinded by love that they do unimaginable things?  It is one thing to love someone and drive by their house with them unaware, but there is the other side of stalking someone because you love them so much and they do not love you the same.  People will kill for love, being the person they love or the person keeping them from the one they love.  The person you may love may not always love you back, what causes some of us to react so dangerously to this rejection, while others just chalk it up to heartache and move on?  Or you love someone so much and you hurt them because the thought of them loving another is just to much for you to handle.  Where is that type of love learned?


 Hate is a strong power.  How do we learn to hate?  I know as a parent this is not something I am teaching my kids, so where does it come from?  I think hate is the worst thing of all.  It can cause unimaginable pain for everyone without having any special reason for doing so.  What I am trying to say is that someone can hate the face you made and in return for bothering them take your life.  People can hate everything, from the grass to the sky and everything in between.  They can hate people based on race, religion, styles, etc...  With all the possibilities it makes the world a scary place for all of us.  But again what causes some to act so unimaginable just because they hate something.  I hate when it is very loud, so why can I contain my feelings and not put everyone around me in danger?  Why can someone take the lives of others and say it is because they hate those person's beliefs, race, etc.?  A lot of the times the person who harms that other person knows nothing about the person in general, nothing about their life, to the person committing the act they just picked someone in the category of what they hated.  How unfair is that to everyone else?  How do you even begin to put a stop to it?

Sane or Insane?

 What causes some to live a sane life while others live an insane life?  Why do some cross the line but other do not?  Do our genes play a factor in self control, or how we love or hate?  Will we ever know the truth to why some can stop but others can't?  Is it in our control to always do the right thing or is the fact of the matter none of us have complete control and at any moment we may cross that line? 


peach on September 25, 2012:

I think it is a fact that it is a chemical imbalance and that it can not be controled. It is like being 2 or 3 people and sometimes you can't control all 3 the meds.controll the chemical and keep the 3 balanced ....May sond off the wall but I have crossed the line. And not by choice.

Jill Kostowskie (author) from Pennsylvania on December 13, 2011:

medina143 - Thanks for reading and commenting...Your quote does make sense, and it made me think of situations that affect people that I never thought of before. Thanks for adding additional insight as to what affects people to act the way they do in different situations. I didn't really consider the sociology perspective until now.

Ana Carolina Medina on December 13, 2011:

Environmental and biological factors both play a major role into each individuals personalities and behavior. There is a saying "biology loads the gun, psychology aims it, and sociology pulls the trigger" If you analyze that quote alone can be extremely helpful. I agree with previous comments, many children grow up with unfit parents and live in unstable situations, many times even in dysfunctional lifestyles which teaches the children that, that lifestyle is ok, it is normal and acceptable, at least in their home. So the cycle continues.

noorin from Canada on April 29, 2011:

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Interesting article ... I think it all boils up to self control and like Squidmom said 'Some do need the education to know right from wrong' ...

Most of the people though, know it already, they just don't practice self control ... Instead of allowing gut feelings and conscious decisions to drive them, they follow abrupt emotions i.e. anger, love ... etc

I like giving excuses almost to all actions but child abuse and extreme forms of love are the ones that I can't get my head around ... I totally agree that individuals with such issues exist, I just can't relate ...

With child abuse, how could a grown up use authority or power to harm such a tiny creature =( If anything, my hardest challenge was being able to discipline children without feeling bad if I were to punish them or ban something that they like ...

With love , I can't see how one would fall for someone if it is not close to being mutual ... Perhaps, Im too self-centered since I wouldn't consider a guy twice if I didn't know for sure that is head over heels for me :S

Rated it up and will be following ya =)

Jill Kostowskie (author) from Pennsylvania on February 23, 2011:

Squidmom - Thanks for reading and commenting. I am glad to see different points of view from others. You made an interesting growing up in bad situations it becomes easier to continue the cycle than to educate yourself and break the cycle. Hopefully more people can become aware of this and change their behaviors for the better.

Squidmom from Texas on February 22, 2011:

I feel like sometimes people don't know any better. What I mean by that is sometimes people grow up in bad situations and they never take steps to educate themselves out of those situations. It becomes a cycle. Some people are born with a good sense of right and wrong regardless of education, but I think some people aren't or don't act like they are anyway.

Jill Kostowskie (author) from Pennsylvania on December 04, 2010:

pennyofheaven-Thank for your comment, it gives a different perspective to the things I wrote above and makes me think a little bit more!!

pennyofheaven from New Zealand on December 04, 2010:

I think perception has a lot to do with it. We do not all have the same way of viewing our lessons. Crossing the line is often taught and often those who abuse don't realize the harm they cause because it is the only way they have known. It is when they are shown another way that it now becomes a choice. Old habits however die hard and it is something that needs to be worked at.

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