April 23, 2020


According to Dictionary.com, delusional is:

  • having false or unrealistic beliefs or opinions

  • maintaining fixed false beliefs even the confronted with facts, usually as a result of mental illness

  • and both of them are not positive. The last time I heart the term was from either CNN or NYTimes address Mr. P on how this person handle the coronavirus pandemic. Politics aside, this word has a bad rap.

    But somehow I felt lighter when I labeled myself as being delusional, in particular, unmatched expectation and the reality, what I think is a better way vs. what others think is the way you should do. Naming myself as being delusional felt so wrong with whom I like to be, gave those are not on my side more dynamite to blow me up, and at the same time, gave me a likely outcome of myself – being unrealistic, impractical, being ideological and utopia.

    I dreamed to live in a community that traffic follows the traffic rules. Some of them are stopping at the red light, travel on the right lane, passing on the left unless other vehicles signaled right, not honking unless there is danger to proceed. How hard that can be? Very easy and very hard.

    To maintain 100% following the rules, basic rules is not probable. I read on the news that there was a hit-and-run truck, there was deaths with a wrong-way entering. During about ~15k miles driving on the U.S., I did not encounter any cars running into the lane I was travelling. I saw a couple of time when a flash light in the intersection activated with possibly a car running the red light. I did not see any jogger running on opposite direction and flank me on my right. Instead, we looked at other driver's eyes for a quick glance, waving a hand to let other driver went first, and likely received a facial or hand expression of welcome. I personally had two tickets of moving violations, one while driving a car and one riding bike plus a couple more parking tickets. Why I still can recall them after at least 6 years has passed. Because they are so a few. They are truly exception not the norm. I showed my displeasure when a car change lane in front of me unsafely. And still today, I did not recall many.

    In other place, still on the Earth, my fellow riders yield the way to other motorbikes running red lights, yielding the way to those flank on their right side while jogging. I cannot sure if I was right or wrong because I am on the minority, very minority. Comparing with the reality does not help my values. Looking back what I have been taught backs fire. So yes, I would like to be delusional. It is better than others label me as an crazy, stupid person.

    There is a distinct difference between an averaged number of 99% people followed the laws, and I encountered 3-5 cases someone riding into the wrong way and on my right side, a few more cases other drivers cut me really close in front of my bike. It becomes less about percent because in of those case, if I have proceeded with the speed and direction as everyone following the rules, accident more likely to happen, and that could happen almost single day in my 7km commune to work. Fortunately, I have only the bone to pick with traffic, and not others. So I do feel that I am delusional because there are young mothers have to finger out how to make their kids' teacher pay "extra" attention. During the working hour, they have also weighting between the right procedure and "fast lane" procedure involved authority works.

    I enjoyed watching YouTube with "instant payback or justice" when someone did wrong received the payback immediately. The sense of just and fair was real. I grew up learning the story of folk-song heroes took money from the rich to save the poor, and there are countless stories that each person should stand for justice, should do the right thing, be brave and never shy away from those abuse liberty of others. In the elementary school, the first lesson is "Be Humble, Be Truthful, Be Brave" of the five lessons from Uncle Ho. We pumped out chest, chin up and together in accordance repeat the five lessons Uncle Ho's teaching. Every. Single. Day.

    It is a different approach to take matter in your own hands, and it is discouraged if anything related to the just, liberty, freedom or government. It implies a large-scale disorder and ineffective governance to fulfill one of its duties. That implication certainly pokes someone's eyes, and doing in more unfriend than making friends. When the matter related to your work, to the area of your expertise, then taking matter into your hands is branded as "leadership" or leading team. As you can guess from the wording itself, if the problem is in your work and your civil duties then you should do it. The key point here is to taking leadership when you are a constituent (a citizen) is different story than when you are the manager, for example, government and justice.

    An easy answer that I come up with and hold dear to me and "do your part, and save myself away from making troubles", and "you cannot do everything". Accepting this pragmatic approach is meant to being less of an ideal person, a citizen to ignore something wrong in front of your eyes. Although this is less brave and sometime felt cowardice, labeling delusional is not a bad approach either. At least, I have to be "truthful" to myself.

    A note to myself, I do riding my bike faster than safely manage. Mostly, there are lots more unexpected things could happen. And to stay alive and not be a burden to my family, I need to win my own battle before thinking about the community. Being delusional is sad and disappointed. Knowing that existing difference between my values and the reality is the room to improve and the crack not to fall into.

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