Stigmatisation is the action of describing or regarding someone or something as worthy of disgrace or great disapproval. When we are judgemental we often form opinions, usually harsh and critical ones about people. Why do we stigmatise others so easily? Is it because of fear, the unknown and or not knowing how to care for one another? Do we stigmatise because we are judgmental or is it because we don’t know and make assumptions? Imagine having to deal with negative attitudes or discrimination when dealing with a mental illness, health condition, or disability. Then there are also social stigmas that’s related to other characteristics such as culture, gender, race, religion, and sexuality.
Assumptions can also lead to fearfulness towards other people that in return leads to stigma and discrimination. This behaviour can be detrimental to society. It makes people victims for misplaced anger and hostility. It also creates more suffering and divisions that hamper the response to peace and healing. People who are worried about being rejected may be less likely to seek help, get tested or seek medical care, which increases mental health and infection risks for them and for others. I know for many, stigmatisation is a reality. Imagine having to deal with all of this uncaring, unkind, harshness of stigmatisation when suffering and all you need is help and understanding.
I just want to highlight a few things. Depression, a mental condition characterised by feelings of severe despondency and dejection, typically also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, often accompanied by lack of energy and disturbance of appetite and sleep. Imagine you suffer of depression and you must still face stigmatisation! Then there is HIV, a human immunodeficiency virus, a retrovirus which causes AIDS. Coronaviruses are a type of virus. There are many different kinds, and some cause disease. A newly identified coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has caused a worldwide pandemic of respiratory illness, called COVID-19. Imagine suffering of a deadly virus and you must still face stigmatisation! A disability is any condition that makes it more difficult for a person to do certain activities or interact with the world around them. Imagine being disable and you must still face stigmatisation! Then imagine social stigmas because of your culture, gender, race, religion, and or sexuality.
I’ve read a post “choose peace over perfection” that led me to do some introspection. What if I judge less and instead, show more kindness, care and love? I also came to the realisation that I must be more appreciative. This can but only make me less judgemental and help me to appreciate and accept others for who they are. I feel that now probably more than ever before is a time for self-reflection, take a moment, slow down and be at one with our thoughts. I read through my journal notes of a year ago. I realised that a year ago life was so different. I never would have pictured our world as it is now.
BTS Cypher Pt 4 The rap line encourage listeners to not listen to negative opinions and remember to love themselves. Key lyric: “I love, I love, I love myself”
Imagine a world without negative opinions and that’s filled with love!