So, this post is a little off topic of what I normally post in this Blog, but that’s ok. It’s my blog and I’ll write about whatever I want to. 🙂 Expect a lot more of these kinds of posts.
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and I’m feeling a little nostalgic, a little… Emotional.
I’ve been reading a lot of quotes by Dr. King – of course I’ve read many of them – but today I’m looking at how I can take those words that wise man once spoke and use them in my everyday life. I do in fact believe and express the same beliefs as Dr. King. It’s just in the past year or so that I have discovered how much I encompass those qualities Dr. King emphasizes and that those are the qualities that I like about myself and hope to utilize to build a career, a life off of.
Dr. King was a man of caring and advocating for others. He believed that all human beings deserved the to be treated with DIGNITY and RESPECT. That is what I believe. No matter a person’s path, everyone is still human.
So many humans have been discriminated against and deprived of basic human needs. Look at where we are now in 2015 compared to 1900. We’ve come so far. Women couldn’t vote 100 years ago. People of color couldn’t go into the same restroom as white people. Coming out of the closet was not an option for our LGBTQ community. Unfortunately, there is still HATE and DISCRIMINATION out there in the world by those who refuse to move forward, by those who refuse to chose LOVE and ACCEPTANCE.
My mission in life is to HELP, LOVE, RESPECT, and CARE for others. Doing a kind thing for a complete stranger gives me such satisfaction, so much… Happiness. I was driving on the freeway today and there was an accident on the side of the road. I was in the left lane and the man in the semi truck in the right lane near the accident. The man driving the semi truck noticed the accident last minute and turned on his blinkers. I slowed down and waved the man over. Once we were passed the accident and he returned to the right lane, as I passed him he waved at me in thanks. That SIMPLE kind gesture (as well as for safety purposes) made my day. It’s not so much that the man noticed what I did, but that he recognized that I did it out of his and the people on the side of the road’s well being. I didn’t have to let him over and he didn’t have to wave at me to show his appreciation of what I did. The entire sequence of our interaction was out of kindness and caring for other people’s well being. That’s the kind of world I want to live in, those are the kind of people I like to me around.
Also like Dr. King. I believe in the power of knowledge. The power of a good education. Education that doesn’t teach one WHAT to think but to give the skills of HOW to think. Ignorance is poison. Ignorance creates hate. And hate develops so many scary, ugly things. And my job is to spread knowledge, to educate others. And mainly on STIGMA – something that not only hurts people’s feelings, but creates oppression and discrimination in our society. I go into schools, jails, residential treatment centers, churches and all over the community to educate about some of the most discriminated topics – MENTAL HEALTH.
Just like race, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, people are discriminated against because of their diagnosis with a mental illness. That stigma and fear of judgement can shield a person from getting help and treatment. Not getting treatment can make life ever so difficult to function, to perform essential everyday activities such as grooming, going to school or works, eating, etc. A mental illness can be just as or more disabling than cancer and paraplegia. If one cannot not function enough to go to work to earn money to pay for their house, care, clothes, and food they lose all of that. As of January 2014, there were 578,424 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States. That’s HUGE!
Now, this post is just a beginning of future posts to come about this topic of stigma, helping others and everything in between. I have a new vision of what I want to do with my future career. It involves a lot of what I’ve posted about today, giving people and animals second chances. 🙂 More to come on that vision later. Until then, be kind to others and most importantly, be kind to yourself.