Preaching sensitivity has become an inevitable routine. Political correctness has become paramount. But actual introspection is still a far fetched goal.
As I grow older, it is becoming increasingly evident to me that everyone messes up; but next to nobody acknowledges it. We become so blinded by our façade and our fake airbrushed version that we present to the world, that we let the demons inside us (whether small or big), slowly tarnish us.
As I learn more and more about mental health from sources that have more often than not proven to be negative triggers of the same, I realize that if one just understands that every individual comes from a background, and has a story extremely unique to them, they would be empathetic, understanding and sensitive in the real sense, and not just to blast it on social media.
It’s May 2020, and the Covid-19 lockdown is in full flow. Maybe years from now, we will publish this period in history books like a real battle but right now, it just feels like an ordinary day at home. However, one thing that pretty much everyone is struggling with, and probably no one will write or talk about 30 years from now is mental health. After all, how much do we actually talk about the daily struggles of different minds during world wars?
There are bigger problems to discuss- victories, brutality, bravery, and selflessness to applaud, and hence, somewhere between all this history, we never truly understand that people in those eras were normal human beings just like us- with what they felt like was ‘an ordinary day at home’. Of course, the homes differ, the circumstances differ, the danger differs and the struggles differ.
Whilst some people hiding in bunkers could think of it as another calm day where they survived, people stuck at homes with toxic environments in 2020 could have constant mental turmoil, thinking they are right in the middle of the battlefield. While this is probably not the most accurate comparison and maybe not even a good correlation but the mere fact is that people are different, with different problems, different coping mechanisms, and different will power and strength. And that is okay. Comparing problems will never actually solve them.
Telling a crying child who dropped his ice cream that he is okay because people have it worse is not going to make him stop crying. It will just make him think that his problem is not worth understanding which is precisely where the roots of guilt and bottling-up feelings are sown. I may be completely wrong with this theory, but the fact of the matter is that- people are always going to have it worse. Why does a billionaire commit suicide while a ragpicker on the road is ecstatic when he finds a coin in the trash? It’s the perspective.
People will always have it worse. That doesn’t mean your problems aren’t significant. Doesn’t mean your problems aren’t important or that they shouldn’t be acknowledged.
All one needs is a little introspection and a pinch of empathy. One needs to realize that as they struggle, so do others; at different degrees and with different issues. But everyone, absolutely everyone has a small part of their brain running in constant overdrive trying to cope with what could be issues ranging from the societal acceptance, self-acceptance to a mere lack of serotonin (for no apparent reason).
If only we could truly give the benefit of doubt to each person we encounter, considering them as fellow human beings who are allowed to make mistakes, even blunders. If only we could forgive them just as quickly as we forgive ourselves with self-justification. If only we could appreciate that there is a mini-universe inside every human being’s brain and heart- understanding of which is unique to each. If only we didn’t envision everyone to do everything according to our self proclaimed expectations and took a step back before passing judgment. Then maybe, just maybe, the world would be a nicer place to live in, even if it’s not a ‘better’ or ‘more developed’ one as such.