Artisan by Dan Joyce
Some Days Seem…
Some days seem flawless; some days seem unbearable. Today I learned a valuable lesson from a preacher not speaking in a church. He started by trying to define an old, and to me unwanted, phrase “terminal uniqueness.” But he made it clear that we are all different, we all have those parts of our identity that make us unique. The problem comes when one just holds on to those differences and fails to recognize the many things we have in common with nearly everyone else. I go to AA where, “I am an alcoholic,” or church where, “I am a child of God!” And while this is grand for fellowship, and for me basically a free and cheap way to get out of the house, to hold onto our differences that basically others tend to not understand in the first place, creates futility.
For so many years, I have felt the solution to mental health issues is through education. But so many, rightfully seeming insist on ignorance. Guess what? They simply don’t have to understand. It would be nice to live in a world where a minority of any kind, black, Muslim, gay or even in my case, bipolar, does not warrant any unnecessary reaction. However, history is proving this nearly impossible, and we ourselves make it such by not only refusing to understand the differences in others, but by expecting everyone else to understand the differences in ourselves.
One such gallery owner, I’ve often had great experiences dealing with, recently brought out the difference, my being mentally ill. I was appalled, but did I really rightfully react in being so? We can’t expect everybody to know everything, nor can we expect that they would want to. People have their own lives to go about and bring about happiness and nourishment in their own such ways. I am not defending racism, bigotry or stigma in any way. I am just saying that one of the greatest problems I have found in life is that, when communicating with others expecting everyone to know all of the individual facts that I know myself. For that reason, the average television news station is geared to the mind of a ten year-old and repeated frequently for those who may have missed earlier showings. We are all different in many fantastic and fascinating ways, yet from the red blood that flows through us, to our creative and provocative minds, in many beautiful and wonderful ways, we are all the same.