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People go through the usual greeting routine when meeting others. That’s a good idea for most folks because it makes them appear normal and in control of their ideas and feelings. Typically they will maintain a conventional conversation for quite a while and thus a short conversation leaves their interlocutor believing them to be normally sane. This works for most people most of the time, but when you carry on a real conversation where the conversation delves into the reasons for various beliefs and actions, things will quickly get weird and awkward for most people. The reasons are fairly straightforward — most people don’t have a clue why they are doing what they are doing or saying what they are saying. They are a vast bundle of twisted learned responses formed from a lifetime of complex situations and psychological inputs. Because they don’t have any idea of what is actually going on within their personal reality, they make up reasons on the spot to make things appear to make sense.

Adults appear to be marginally better at this storytelling than three-year-olds, but that is an illusion based on establishing a common social rapport between adults. They establish a commonality of beliefs and go forward a little at a time from there. The problem is that these commonly held beliefs are just as prone to tangled confusions as are their own inner thoughts because they were formed of learned responses to new stimuli, which were not fully sensed or comprehended at first encounter. Reality perforce requires an instant response to barely perceived stimuli, but as this reaction occurs so does learning to respond to that stimuli the same way upon next encounter. Unfortunately, because the original stimulus was so weak and so poorly understood, the first response is usually not the best response for that original problem and its stimulus. Thus our minds and our habits get reinforcements for responses that are not the best. The whole body of friends develop the same set of responses to given environmental stimuli. They become of one mind. But that mind, being the common one, an amalgamation of sub-prime responses, will tend to the medium level of the group, which means a mediocre ideal. Generally, it works satisfactorily.

People who have the good fortune to grow up in a very healthy and stimulating environment automatically learn more effective ways of coping with the world. They learn these things from their parents, from their friends and from the better physical environment in which they exist. Those who have the misfortune to be raised in an environment where there is an abundance of conflict and confusion and distrust of everyone and everything are crippled and have great difficulty in forming enough trust to be effective at social interaction, or the natural world. These people are not crazy, they have just over-adapted to a difficult situation and have learned coping techniques which impede them from getting along as well as they could have if they were fortunate enough to be raised in a more positive environment.

People grow to fit the niche they inhabit; they are specialized for that place.