SuperCity: Let’s go crazy

Jun. 4, 2014 | 2 Comments

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BY CHRISTA WITTMIER / Special to the Star-Advertiser

As I traveled back to Hawaii from Asia this week, I couldn’t stop thinking about something I saw on CNN International one morning when I was up too early in my hotel.

The anchors were talking to Andy McNab, a full-fledged psychopath who has found success in business and was on the network promoting his new book, “The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success.” I was suffering the effects from the day and a half time difference, but immediately pulled out of my narcoleptic fog when they teased the story.

COURTESY CHRISTA WITTMIER

COURTESY CHRISTA WITTMIER

The following segment talked about something I’d already known, but learned the hard way throughout adulthood. They basically said it was okay to be a psychopath, even going so far as to find the positive in it. They even published a quiz online to see if you’re one, too.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit I’m crazy. I really do think we all are. Some of us are just better at suppressing it than others.

Some have had to learn to accept the struggle of real life early on, or what we like to call “matured.” Some were raised by two parents who loved them. More and more people of my generation and those younger than me were not.

While true psychosis is a serious neurological disease, these broken families have resulted in a new type of person who doesn’t know how love, or care to. These people think others don’t matter; only material wealth and power does.

These are the things that make these people happy, and without compassion or the need for human empathy they believe they can move much further ahead in business than others. Their hope, essentially, is to become more successful in the long run.

When I lived in Europe there was something very different about living in the mainland U.S. But it wasn’t until I moved to Hawaii and saw the same thing that I started to make the connection between multiple generations living under the same roof and the types of young adults those homes produced.

In both places, it’s widely accepted to live with your family into adulthood, and sometimes forever. You just don’t see this too often in larger U.S. cities and suburbs, especially where I grew up. Kids were running away from their homes as fast as they could the second the clock struck midnight on their 18th birthdays, with some even figuring out how to emancipate themselves earlier. Divorce and bad marriages really took their toll on my generation.

In Europe and Hawaii, I’ve seen families take care of each other for every segment of their lives from birth until death. I always believed this is why there isn’t as much violent crime. Strong families stimulate chemical reactions that cause happiness in the human brain. Happy people don’t kill other people.

As I shake off the fogginess of traveling and settle back into life at home in Honolulu, I keep thinking about the psychopaths running our world.

While I don’t think there’s ever going to be a time I can get to their level mentally (I scored a 3 on the quiz), I do have respect for the personality type who knows how to make the hard decisions for the sake of their company. If all the world’s top companies were run by a bunch of softies, we might be in even bigger trouble than we are now. At least there’s hope.

In any case, I missed Hawaii dearly while I was away and can’t wait to dive into June and beyond. Every day I wake up and get to go to work, I’m grateful I’m not in a position that requires as much psychosis as it does just plain hard work.

I’ve accepted the fact there are people out there who will never be loyal, and people who are only close to me when it benefits them. Being aware of it, accepting it, and working around it is how I stay sane.
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Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young’s Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for POW! WOW! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular “Bacardi Pool Party” on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

  • North Shore Piratez

    4EVER YOUNG.

  • Kina Allen

    I love you for writing this! :) BTW, I scored a 1.