After reading Chapter Eight, what are your thoughts on the power of coincidence?
I'm not convinced that what appears as coincidence is always coincidental. When I was younger, such experiences fascinated me, if not inspired me. I almost wrote a book one time about the coincidences in my life. Some stories I've heard and experienced have been quite amazing, but most were later explained by the circles one lives in. Still, there are those oddities in the world that can make one wonder if there isn't something at play in existence that is far outside the boundaries of current scientific thought and understanding, but well within the definition of belief. How one translates to the other I'm still trying to work out.
Misunderstood is diagnosed with a mental health problem in Chapter Nine, what is your view on mental health today?
Some perceptions have remained the same in terms of my personal view that were never included in the story. Some have changed through time.
There is still a lack of understanding even for all the knowledge gained to date. Biology (brain) and mental health (mind) dominate treatment plans. There is more emphasis now on nutrition and physical health than I once remember. As more is discovered in regards to what parts of the body are responsible for the malfunction, I suspect we’ll also see targeted treatments that don't send medication throughout the body but directly to the source of the problem, assuming the underlying issues can be solved in this manner.
Education continues in the schools as mental health issues have become more prevalent population-wide. My hope is that eventually there will be a generation more inclined to compassion than condemnation, more caring than negatively reactive.
I would have to say that since this chapter was initially written, overall attitudes are changing thanks to those being open to talking to sufferers as opposed to talking about them.
Emotions are simply tricky. One can easily be negatively reactive to a situation without thinking it through. Some scientists argue being quickly reactionary is a byproduct of a time when fight or flight were the only options we had, i.e. it's something evolution built in. Though we still need this response on occasion (in some parts of the planet or in career choices more often than others), we must also recognize the need for an educated overriding of this response when the situation arises. Our world is increasingly in need of thinkers able to quickly respond rationally.