Why do we treat sick people differently than others?

Have you ever avoided someone because they’re physically different?  I bet lots of you have without noticing it.  In fact most people have had that experience or been the target of the conversation.  People constantly exclude people because of mental illnesses, health problems, injuries, disabilities and other reasons.  You might hurt someone and not even know it. We are failing to recognize the value in people by making judgments about them based on their health conditions.  I hope after you read this essay, you will be convinced that people exclude others with difficulties and this has to stop.

If someone broke their arm and had on a cast to school, the first thing everyone would want to do is sign it.   It’s much different if someone has mental difficulties or something more severe than just a broken leg or arm,  even if it’s because they had a hard past.  When you are in the position of making assumptions about someone for no good reason, remind yourself of the saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover.  Just remember that someone having difficulties or health problems deserves as much positive attention as someone with a broken arm.

So, what can we do?  Maybe make a commitment to being careful that we don’t hurt someone’s feelings by making comments about who they are.  Or maybe we can stop teasing people when they might feel sensitive about a subject.  standing up for others would help the target not have to be in the position of people judging them. If we all try to do something to make other people less uncomfortable the world would be way better off.

-Sylvia '17