The Inability to Force Others to Change or Understand
Finding Open Individuals in a Sea of Ignorance
This is going to be a very brief post but I was inspired to write it by a comic I saw recently about mental illness in comparison to physical ailments. While the comic was humorous it was scarily truthful and reflected encounters that I have had on a routine basis. Comments from family members such as "I like you skinny" or after hugging me aka feeling for bones exclaiming "Oh good, there is still something there." Suggestions from friends like "Why don't you start drinking ensure again...it might make some people happy" or "Why don't you only order foods you really like and just eat them!" No matter how much you explain or try convince these people to understand there is something that disables them from doing so.
"There are some people who, if they don't already know, you can't tell 'em."
- Yogi Berra
It's not these people don't want to learn or understand. It's not that they don't care about you or love you. There is just something about some people that prevents them from processing certain things. This same thing that blocks their ability to understand also disables them from knowing what to say or how to say it. It becomes even more difficult when we ourselves don't know what we need or want and consequently cannot offer advice to those around us. At the end of the day there are some people who are simply ignorant whether it's in regard to racism, anti-semitism, or mental illness there are individuals who's minds are simply shut off to new possibilities and learning. What can we do about these people? Honestly not much. To protect ourselves we must recognize who these people are in our lives and remember not to turn to them for support on a topic the can't or refuse to understand. It is our job to find people who are willing and able to listen, learn, and at least accept even if they are unable to understand. Below is the cartoon illustration I referred to initially.
I chose this song because it has always been inspirational for me and I feel as if it relates to the theme of this post. While we can't directly change others we do have the power to change ourselves if we choose. By starting with positive changes in ourselves perhaps we can ultimately generate greater change through out the world.
Man in the Mirror, Michael Jackson