Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2017 Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance — that principle is contempt prior to investigation.
-Herbert Spencer, 19th century social philosopher
Contempt. Hatred. People are accused, based solely on their faith and religious affiliations, of carrying these negative attitudes toward specific people groups.
Dare to claim Islam as your belief system, and by some people you will be immediately aligned with terrorism and murderous intent toward members of any other faith, especially those belonging to the Jewish race.
Point to Christ as your Savior and Lord, and many others will assume you hate homosexuals and despise liberals.
Having only two examples does not cover the mass judging and guessing going on these days. Relatively few of us are asking questions. Fewer still are listening attentively for responses. A small minority are going out of their way to meet people, and to get to know those who think differently.
Of course, automatic disregard is directed at persons with mental illness, too. We who struggle with mood, personality, and thinking disorders are often stigmatized as “bad,” sinful, untrustworthy, and possibly violent.
Everyone knows that humans tend to fear the unknown. Fear can manifest as anger and even hate if left to fester. Stigma is assumed truth based on little or no facts.
So we are left with a choice in these turbulent times. Will we feed contempt for our differences by sticking to what we think we know about each other? Or will we challenge hearsay and stigma by asking questions?
Soundbites are often considered almost as much, if not more than researched information. However, a few words cannot encompass the complexities of issues or persons. Go to reliable and scholarly sources. See around opinions to the facts. Meet people.
“Contempt prior to investigation” does not have to describe how we treat each other – unless we refuse to know better.
Today’s Helpful Word
Exodus 23: 1,2
“Do not tell a lie about someone else. Do not join with the sinful to say something that will hurt someone. Do not follow many people in doing wrong.”
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.
-pics from rgbstock.com