Personal pain is subjective
This postcard from PostSecret made me so mad.
I got so mad when I read this, that my first thought was, “the teacher who wrote this deserves to get punched.”
This reminds me of the “my life is worse than yours so suck it up” contest that I see a lot of people get into. Because you went through a horrible time and made it through, anybody who doesn’t make it through deserves no sympathy.
Except that human beings are all different, and you don’t know exactly why somebody is in pain or how immobilizing their pain is UNLESS YOU ARE THEM. That’s what I mean when I say personal pain is subjective.
People have different strengths and weaknesses, and I really think it is high time that we start believing people when they say they are having trouble or that they are struggling. There is so much stigma around depression – “Just snap out of it!” say so many people – but even more stigma around depressed people who don’t realize that there’s a name for what they have.
The two industrialized countries that I have lived in – The USA and New Zealand – both have many things in common, and one of those things is the propensity to use the word “lazy.” Lazy is possibly (and ironically) the laziest word in the English language. It ignores rationality, cause and effect, and physical reality. Unhappy people stop being active for a reason. Especially given the advances scientists have made in our understanding of human psychology and sociology, we have absolutely no excuse for claiming that the most miserable people in our society put themselves where they are, need to suck it up, or are “taking advantage” of this or that (the welfare system, other people, etc.).
A teacher’s job is to provide an environment conducive to learning. If you are incapable of empathy, then you are a bad teacher; plain and simple. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for empathic teachers. I also wouldn’t have the problems I have today if I had had MORE empathic teachers.
****Please read my Comments Policy before commenting****
~ by owlcat on 28 October, 2012.