LETTER: Dysfunction just a universal fact of life

Dysfunction is everywhere. It is in your life. It is in my life. It just may be the only thing all people share in common. Now, I'm not going to tell you what my dysfunction is, and I'll not ask you what yours is. We'll just hang around with each other, and soon our dysfunction will become quite apparent.

The real problem with dysfunction is that we enjoy it so much. In many ways, it is the stuff of life. Can you imagine what kind of movies we would have if there was no dysfunction? What about all those programs on TV? Or what is printed in the newspaper? Or the plethora of stories on the Internet?

Have you ever thought about the jobs which are the result of our dysfunction? There would be no need for the police if you and I behaved ourselves. There would be no need for all our soldiers to fight wars if we didn't do the wrong things. There would be no need for the health care services which are the result of us not taking care of ourselves. There would be no need for ministers because everyone would be doing everything just right. Etc., etc.

And, then, what would I do to make money? At the present time, I do counseling and work with alcohol and drug clients, and I get paid to do so. If everybody took care of themselves, I would have no job. If we were to eliminate dysfunction, there would be no jobs for millions of us. It puts food in our stomachs and a roof over our heads.

One of the problems we have with dysfunction is that mine is OK, but yours is not. You need to get your life straightened out, but not me. Mine doesn't cause as much problem as yours does. Besides, if I go to a shrink, he is a human like me and has his own dysfunction, so how can one dysfunctional person help another?

Maybe the best thing for us to do is just accept each other's dysfunction and go on enjoying our craziness. I can't think of any other way for us to guarantee future jobs for everyone and the enjoyment which is the product of this craziness. So, we'll just keep on treating other people and ourselves badly, being destructive spouses and parents, drinking our booze, taking our drugs, trying to force our way upon others, and whatever else we can think to do to maintain our dysfunctional way of life.

Most of us wish to be normal, whatever that means. Several years ago, a psychiatrist in Atlanta said, "To be normal, you have to be a little bit crazy," his way of saying no one is perfect. We like that. It gives us an excuse to be one with everybody else, so why should I ever want to be other than normal? There is no need, which means I can go on enjoying my preferred dysfunction. Besides, it is no worse than yours, and it sure is a lot of fun.

-- Roger P. Bolton