Tag Archives: empathy

Some Thoughts on Mental Illness

I recently sent my final draft of the manuscript of my memoir to my publisher. The book is broad – everything from my childhood to adult history of overcoming bipolar disorder. One of my objectives is that this book helps to remove the stigma of mental illness from both the patient and everyone else.  When you come down with cancer, others now exhibit sympathy and empathy.  Why should mental illness be any different?

And mental illness has its cures, from medication to talk therapy to the support of family, friends and employers/fellow employees—IF the patient is willing to participate and try.

Human justice requires us to treat mental illness no differently than physical illness.  Many cultures already are ahead of America in that vital area.

Now let’s not forget that suicide – many times with very talented, brilliant, kind people – occurs due to what I call “internalized stigma.”  This stigma comes from others and the patient’s own identity with the diagnosis and its effects.

I’ve thought from time to time that persons with mental illness perceive the ills and feel inadequate to act.  Think of Winston Churchill who did act and Abraham Lincoln who did act. Let’s help others attain their own greatness!

Mental Illness and Kindness

The stigma of mental illness must be eliminated as more and more of humankind knows more and more how to treat them – just like breast cancer, diabetes, and on and on.

One by one, we have our strengths and weaknesses.  Trying to accept others as they are, perhaps helping them with some form of kindness – is an important part of the formula toward Heaven on Earth. Kindness is just the opposite of hate and allowing and promoting it within ourselves and others is what makes the human condition capable of a joyous state – through ups and downs. So, please join me is spreading kindness as we march toward Heaven on Earth!

Starting 2015 with Kindness

Henry James, American Author (1843-1916), wrote the following, which I keep on my desk: Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.

Kindness to ourselves and others requires self-discipline. We can be—and often are overly—critical to ourselves and others. My belief that, “God made each of us and all of us with a mind, body, and ‘little piece of God’ since the dawn of humankind,” can be the fundamental rational for this exercise of genuine compassion, inwardly and outwardly.

A wonderful way to start and finish 2015 is to practice kindness, compassion, love, empathy, and a real day-to-day respect for humankind, the earth, and God.

I wish everyone joy, cheer, and a life overflowing with kindness in 2015 and onward toward Heaven on Earth.

To Do List for the Innovation Age

We are in The Innovation Age and thus we must:

·         Innovate throughout humankind and its entities of all kinds.

·         Seek wisdom and shun the negative values of selfishness, greed, envy, hate, and revenge.

·         Grow our health in mind, body and “little piece of God.”

·         Foster self-discipline and delayed gratification for ourselves and others.

·         Develop life skills such as writing, financial literacy, reading worthy sources habitually, speaking in an articulate and non-profane manner, and more.

·         As we seek wisdom through life experiences and other means we need to strengthen our wisdom-associated values: empathy, truth, honesty, justice, cooperation, peace, compassion, universal wellbeing, and creative and general knowledge.

·         Develop a propensity for kindness based on the deep conviction that each of us and all of us has our “little piece of God.”

We can think of our lives as a brief episode between unknowns or we can realize through faith that our entrance and exit from this life are moments that only Almighty God understands.  Someday in Heaven on Earth, I believe death will no longer be a reality just as I believe that eternal life awaits all of us after death, even now.

I believe deeply in God’s enduring and steadfast love.  Is that a miracle or a foolish thought?  I really think that the reality of eternity is much better than most of us envision.

My faith is something that I treasure and through my writing, perhaps I can help to impart a faith to others, especially within that “little piece of God” in them.

According to Harvey Cox, author and Presbyterian minister, there are three mysteries in life – ourselves, others and everything else.  We must all accept the challenge to explorer these mysteries, honestly, truthfully, and persistently.

Positive Values: Empathy

This is a wonderful value and I believe that it should be differentiated from sympathy.  Sympathy encourages victimhood; and if it involves something that is major in our lives– such as race–it can lead to wasted lives.

Adversity of all types can be overcome and in doing so an individual very well may gain the resilience to conquer other challenges in life.

Empathy encourages one to overcome obstacles and is a very positive value for both the giver and recipient.