Diversity and Mental Health

the things that make us unique yet aim to destroy us

Many times people talk about diversity, what they understand by it is culture, race, language, social status, etc.

Sadly, diversity is more diverse than all those listed above.

Diversity is what makes us unique yet aims to destroy us because we don’t value or pay attention to it.

We are okay with it when is okay with us not concerned if others or those involved are okay with it.

Let us look critically at what diversity really means according to the dictionary :

“The state of being diverse” or “ a range of different things.”

These days, diversity ranges from cultural orientation to tribal affiliation, sexual orientation to gender association, opinions to views, social status to profession or work.

Now you may begin to wonder what this has got to do with mental health. I will get to it in a bit.

Before I go further, can we just remind ourselves again(that’s assuming you already know)? Here you go :

Mental health is the level of psychological well-being or an absence of mental illness. It is the state of someone who is "functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

Mental health is not the same as mental illness or mental disorders. It is what it is..mental state of our health which practically is determined by a number of factors and accepting people for who they are or what they are is one of it.

My sojourn in life has brought me across several people with diverse views, diverse thoughts and opinions, diverse sexual and gender orientation, diverse religious affiliations, diverse social status and not to forget, diverse intellectual ability(yes, I am judging, thank you).

What is most important is that we understand that the world won’t be fun if we all face just one direction. The world will be in chaos if we all have the same view and perspective towards all matters and issues in life.

A life devoid of diversity is a boring life. How would it be if we all were white, black, male, female, short, tall, rich, poor, literate, illiterate, etc?

When we begin to segregate and classify people, we begin to tell them to find their own clique and level. We begin to tell them that they are not in the same class as we are forgetting that we also long to belong to one group or another.

The lack of acceptance leaves people wondering if they are really who they should be or where they should be.

What then is the crux of this matter?

You don’t have to be who you don’t want to be

You don’t have to be where you don’t want to be

You don’t have to be what you don’t want to be

However, you need to allow people to be themselves without hassles.

Don’t get entangled in what you believe to the extent that it hampers your humanity.

I guess my work has given me room to meet people of diverse orientations and views and I have come to appreciate the fact the diversity exists.

Like I stated above, you don’t have to be them but you also don’t have to treat them like they don’t exist.

Treat people who are different from you as humans

Treat them like you would treat a person within your own class and status.

Numerous suicide attempts, self-esteem issues, depression just to mention a few are sometimes the resultant effects of refusing to embrace people for who they are.

I know it is not my right to tell you what to do but it is my right as well to say what I have to say and that is what I am saying.

Consider this an invitation to embrace diversity and in turn, change someone’s story.

Change someone’s journey

And experience fun.

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