I don’t know how many times a day I read Christian bashing & blanket statement posts about religion. There are also a few tv shows that seem to be dedicated to perpetuating the stigma associated with mental illness, and everyone already knows there is an overall consensus on what a ‘drug addict’ is and what we should do with them.
If you are anything like me and you experience some level of frustration
related to being squished into stereotypical, old- school, unjust, judgmental, completely wrong- automatic labeling systems -held by the majority—
-I can empathize with you.
We should be friends.
I see it a lot from people who aren’t Christians, who assume that all Christian people behave, believe and think a certain way.
This is my least favorite stereotype.
I didn’t even know who Jesus was until I was 23 years old and I do not fit any current stereotype.
I love God, and identify as a Christian. But I don’t picket funerals, force my beliefs on anyone, or isolate myself or my children from people who are (oh’my!)–non-Christian. Atheist. Buddhist. Agnostic. Gay. Whatevs.
It is okay that people are different from me. Interestingly, It’s not that hard to get along with people of all ages, different races & ethnicity, or sexual & religious preferences.
I even have friends who are divorced, some widowed, and some who are contemplating it.
And others who have sworn off being in a relationship at all.
I also happen to have the ability to be objective….
Oh’ and I even have the capability of having fun!
Get this- I love people who don’t think exactly the way that I do!
…….and surprise! I have probably made more bad choices than most people I know combined, so count me out of the holier -than- thou group too.
My other least favorite stereotype: The people who post all of the time about just throwing people in jail or killing them off in masses because of course, ‘drug addicts’ are hopeless human beings.
When in fact, addiction knows no bounds-no race, age or tax bracket. Keep that in mind if you have friends, children, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, siblings, or any other human relationships.
Some also know that I use to be a ‘drug addict.’
This is just another box that people create to squish things into that they don’t understand.
I haven’t ever lived under a bridge, although, I have slept outside a few times.
(Thankfully, I don’t recall those experiences)
I also won’t steal from you –
or rub off my addict cooties onto you or your children.
You’re welcome. 🙂
Oh’ and then we have this one.
I too, once misunderstood brain diseases and the power of environmental and socioeconomic cycles.
Having a mother who suffers with mental illness allowed me to experience so much bizarre behavior. I hated her, I hated it and I had no intention of accepting these crazy people and I certainly was not going to give her a free pass.
(However, funny things happen when you shut your egotistical, all-knowing – pride up for a second and you get some reading material; you research and learn.)
Mental- illness runs in my family, crazy deep.
But…..It won’t rub off either. I did escape the generational black plague, but just for your contentment-
I can assure you that I won’t just ‘turn crazy‘ one day during conversation.
I think it is completely safe to say that every single people group- is marginalized on some level.
Typically it is a route taken by people who have been hurt by a specific people group.
Other times, by those who simply don’t understand certain aspects of these people and their ways.
(We also can’t forget or ignore that It is so much easier to remain ignorant, silent and hateful. It is easier to bash, hate, make-fun and spread clever jokes.)
So I guess, we can come away from this comprehensive, well- thought- out rant with a few thoughts……………….
Maybe, we could ALL benefit from taking a step back.
Maybe take some time to examine what we ask or expect from other people.
What do I want from others?
What do I expect?
A little bit of understanding?
Just to be accepted for exactly who I am now and who I used to be?
Maybe, we can try to give this to the world, and we would receive as such back.
Maybe I just believe in this radical theory:
We get what we give.
Try being nice to people.
Try learning about things that you don’t understand.
So, please. Step away from the brain Rolodex, stop filing humans away like they are paperwork.
We are all human beings, equally important and unique.
We are all just navigating this life, trying to do better today- than we did yesterday.
It is possible to extend love- instead of judging and hating.
We can figure this out.