I am writing this for 2 reasons. The first is that there was a call for support of a dear friend of mine in the awesome #LinkYourLife group. You read more about it here. The second is that this is something I had been wanting to write about for a while now. All the chaos and tragedy in the world is causing us to turn on other people. Even though I am part of the privileged group, I still possess an open heart and mind towards others. It’s time that we embrace the uniqueness that makes us who we are and here’s why.
It seems that this has become one of the hardest things for us to do. Why has the human race become one that would rather kick someone down because they are different instead of picking them up and showing them support? There is a lot in the world that we may not understand or just blatantly ignore. This has to stop before we cause so much damage that the next generation is not able to fix it. We need to embrace each other and accept them even if we might disagree with them.
I have friends that have gone through things that I never will. Things ranging from different types of abuse to any one of the many mental illnesses. I read a lot of the pieces that they either wrote or are sharing on social media. There have been times where I have disagreed with their point of view but I still love and care about them. All because I understand that I have not gone through what they have been through and they need my support. Here’s a personal example…
From the age of about 15 to 30, I hid my depression and anxiety issues from my family. I was afraid that they would reject me and think I was crazy. Then one day I decided to let them in on the secret I was hiding from them. My parents divorced when I was very young so I first told my father and then my mother. I was surprised how much my father understood what I was going through, even though he has never dealt with it, and the compassion he showed to me.
My mother on the other hand was much different. We were both crying at the end of the conversation. This was because of the deep pain I shared with her and also the fact that she kept blaming herself for my mental illness. They both embraced me during that time of vulnerability. We all need to do this towards others.
Take a moment to think about your favorite book, movie, or TV show. How much would it still be your favorite if every character was the same person? I know that it would never be my favorite again. There’s a reason why each one of us is different, even twins are too. The phrase “Variety is the spice of life” is so true. Everything that has been invented is because someone looked at the world differently. The social issues that the world has overcome is because of the individuals that saw a solution while the rest of us operated based on how society at that time told us to. Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi are perfect examples of this.
The thing that is unique about myself is…me. Same goes for you and everyone in the world. Sure, I can find lots of people that have lived a life like I have and even find some that deal with the same struggles as me. The only problem is that I will never find me except within my own body and this is a great thing. I would not want to live in a world that was occupied by people that were just me and no one else. It would get boring real quick.
This is why I love meeting new or different people every single day. Yet there are a lot of us that are completely afraid of doing this. They are afraid that doing so will change them and ruin their life. This is absolutely wrong. Meeting people different from you positively impacts your life and helps open your mind to the truths that surround us. I dare you to try this for once.
This goes along with what I just talked about above but from a different perspective. We need each other more than some think. If it was not for the people willing to risk their life, I would not feel safe each day. We would learn nothing if victims never spoke up. Each and every person on the planet is more valuable than what society has been telling us. There are people that are suffering every day because we have decided to put a particular value on their life based on everything about them except for the one thing that truly matters, they are a human being just like you.
Imagine you are the only person stranded on an island. Yes you have everything you need to survive but you are all alone. After 3 months on this island, another person has become stuck on it with you. Is it really going to matter who this person is? Heck no! They are now someone who can help you, have a conversation with and also help you survive till help comes. So why can’t we all have this same mentality in our everyday lives?
I have been hurt a lot in my life for being nice to others. From giving them money which I never got back to a place for them to live, each situation has somehow came back to bite me in the butt and yet I still do it every day. You may be wondering “Why?”, it’s because there are people out there that are suffering more than me and I want to help them out of their darkness. I learned this from the people that have helped me throughout my life.
The awesome people in the #LinkYourLife group have helped me grow and succeed. The love and compassion that my parents showed me, allowed me to accept my mental illness for what it is. The psychologists I talked to after Cassie’s death helped me understand certain things about myself to begin the healing process. My girlfriend’s son has helped me understand Autism better and being with him reminds me every time what my purpose is in life. I have learned from people of different religions and sexualities that compassion is universal just like love is.
I know that I have not suffered as much as others but I have had others turn their backs on me because of the things I battle with. This hurts me deeply because no matter how upset I get, I could never do it to them. It’s time for us embrace one another as much as we desire the same for us. We all want to be loved and accepted. The only way this can be achieved is to rip off the labels that have been placed and see what is buried underneath…the human body.