When people ask me why I choose to talk about ‘nonsense that nobody cares about,’ I find myself at a loss for words.
Why would anyone think that talking about mental health or personal growth is ‘nonsense’? And why do people run away from such topics, anyway?
It is especially because nobody cares about these things enough that it is important to bring certain topics to people’s attention. And it is because they aren’t normalized enough that we need to get out of the mentality that they are ‘taboo’ for some reason and actually talk about things like mental health, sexuality, gender norms, experiences with trauma and a bunch of other things that people would rather run away from.
I don’t get why it makes people so uncomfortable to talk about things that make them change the way they look at the world and how they treat the people around them. It is difficult enough for a person to bring up such topics to a person they trust; it feels very cruel to shut them down by saying that you would rather not talk about what they’re going through just because you harbour some sort of outdated prejudice instilled in you God-knows-how-many years ago.
Why is everyone so scared of growing out of the biased person that society raises us to become, into someone who is much kinder, more compassionate and considerate of the way they treat everyone around them? I just think that if people were open to such conversations and ready to see the way others struggled with their identities because of the things they were subjected to, the world would be a much better place to live in.
But it isn’t a perfect world, and a lot of people still run away from conversations, or choose to shut others up when they’re making valid points, or express strong hatred, disgust or indifference towards the very valid points that somebody is making in an effort to make them understand what it feels like to be in their shoes. It is very rude to invalidate somebody’s struggles when you live in a world that is constantly evolving and constantly busting myths that your biased judgment is directly linked to.
It hurts the worst when it’s your own people doing it to you. It hurts the worst when they cannot see past the prejudice they have been brought up with. It hurts when they refuse to make any effort to educate themselves to understand your side of the story better.
This is why talking about things and normalizing heavy topics in everyday conversations is important. This is why it matters. The more we talk about it, the more people will understand that these aren’t things they should be running away from. Shutting everyone up and keeping things hushed up because something couldn’t be understood or accepted is what got us here, in the first place. Conversations encourage further conversations. They encourage people to come out and talk about their own experiences and that’s just another step towards normalizing talking about something.
We have such a long way to go.
This isn’t something we can achieve within a day. I just wish people tried to understand me, sometimes, you know? Just try to be there for me instead of invalidating my very real struggles with my own identity. I think I speak for everyone struggling with similar things when I say this: please be open minded enough to hear people out and not be judgmental prick about it by invalidating them by saying that those aren’t real struggles just because your definition of struggle is different from theirs.
In today’s world, especially, where we have unlimited sources to educate ourselves about why certain things are they way they are, and why they aren’t inherently wrong the way we were raised to believe, we have absolutely no excuse to not try to be a better person. We have no excuse to not put in more effort into learning, evolving and growing out of whatever ancient, outdated things we have been made to believe, especially now that we have multiple valid and very legitimate sources proving that certain things are, in fact, the way the world works.
I know that after certain people read this article, they are going to come at me with some very harsh words saying that I am wrong and that I only spew garbage and spread nonsensical agenda around because, apparently, ‘just because you’ve studied a little bit doesn’t mean you know the way the world works’.
Oh, I assure you I know very well the way this world works, alright. I already take a lot of pride in knowing that I am constantly learning how to break out of some very harmful bias that I was raised with. I take pride in knowing that the people closest to me are either some of the most understanding and open minded people I know, or doing their best to learn and be a better person, which already makes them a lot better than those who spew hate for no reason at all.
I guess it’s nice to know that there is always scope for improvement. I know that there will be a day when people will look at the world through much kinder and unbiased eyes than they currently do. But the journey is long, and we cannot hope to change things overnight.
The least we can do is to keep an open mind and let ourselves unlearn the harmful judgment we were raised with, and learn how to be a better, kinder person who can see past the labels and barriers that society has put up since the beginning of time.
Always remember that just because something is the way it has been done, doesn’t mean that it is the right thing to do. People are flawed and they have been flawed since forever. Anyone can make an error in judgment, but it truly takes an awfully long time to undo the damage that has been left by the ones that came before us.
I know, you’re probably thinking, ‘What does this 23-year-old know about the way of the world to say such things?’ right?
Well, at least I know how to look past the filter of bias and hatred. I know that we need to be kinder and encourage healthy and difficult conversations alike.
And I know that this isn’t going to happen overnight, but the world will get better someday.
I hope you stick around to see that happen. I hope you’re a part of that change.