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Monday, August 1, 2011

Mental Freedom


For my summer reading assignment I had to read the book ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST by Ken Kesley. As I was reading, I was disturbed by the fact that the patients were being forced to conform to society in ways that would shock you. I was quite amazed that patients were subjected to brain surgeries and painful electro shock therapy in order to "sooth" their behavior. I was angered that as a modern, intelligent people; we could treat our fellow man in such a disturbing way. The greatest gift ever given to man is free will and the power to use it. We as a society pray on the week or the non-conformists; this is neither fair or right. Every citizen of the United States of America has rights; that includes the mentally ill and the people serving time in jail. There is no easy way to fix the problems of disturbed people living in asylums; however taking away what makes them human and individual to keep them in line with society, is the worst act possible. Now, granted this story takes place in the 1960's when operating on the brain to "fix" a mental illness was common practice; but that does not justify the practice in any way. The people of that day have some of the same values we have now. We know for a fact that that society was not barbaric; however these atrocities still occurred. If society spent half the time rehabilitating prisoners than they do locking them up; the USA would be a better, safer place for everyone. The mentally ill do not deserve to be locked away because they can't conform to society. What makes a person mentally ill; and who are we to say that they are not the enlightened ones? The fact is if someone is deemed dangerous than people don't want that person walking the streets; maybe it's society that's more deadly to the human mind than any other source. We are taught to be individuals, yet we sometimes have a hive mind mentality. A mentality to root out any dangerous behavior. The same way the head nurse of the asylum worked her patients to solve their problems in a way that was best accepted in society of the time. The meaning of being human is freedom; no where are more free than in our mind; and to lose that god given freedom is worse than death.