The Burden Can Make You Strong
Stigma can be a terrible thing. It is the scarlet A, the voice which cries out; “unclean!“, the hushed tones whispered behind one’s back, the stares, the head shakes, the look of disdain, pity and shame.
I met someone this week who’s been the victim of stigma. You could see it on his face, hear it in his voice. His story was one of heart break and struggles from an early age. There are those who would’ve advised him; “Don’t bring a child into this world, don’t load it down with your limitations. Don’t force one so young to carry around the burden you can hardly bear.”
Yet he is not dissuaded. He is not afraid. He knows the strength required to live under critical eyes and tongues, wagging fingers and patronizing words. The stigma has not defeated him or his family. He has much love to give, wisdom to offer, a life carved out by the hammer of being different and the chisel of most doubting his capabilities.
Will his guidance, protection, provision, modeling be like others? No, but as I told him; “To love selflessly, to give abundantly, to be actively, presently, consistently involved in your family’s life is the greatest, most important gift you can bestow upon them.”
“Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ‘crackpot’ than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.” #ChaunceyDepew