I am typically a compassionate person, and this may have played a part in my gravitating towards caregiver roles in my work and personal life. I grew up in the Roman Catholic faith. I learned that it was important to share with others, give even when you have little, and treating everyone with kindness. When I went to Catholic School, I remember learning in 1st grade from Sister Patricia the golden rule “do unto others, as you wish they do unto you”, and that in order to have joy, “Jesus comes first, then others, and then yourself.” I think that this is one of the reasons that caring, and kindness towards other is easy for me.
Sadly, the media uses sensational headlines about mental illness to sell their stories and politicians use mental illness to push their agendas. I try to counteract some of these things, even in the small world in which I work, live, and play. There are times when it feels my efforts are futile, and other times, I feel I’m really helping to make great strides. I hope that it helps one of my students someday to have courage and strength for their friends, family, partner, or themselves, so that they may get help if and when they ever need it. In the world we live in, it takes great courage to ask for help. In my work and in my life, I have seen firsthand how the stigma of mental illness has kept families and individuals from seeking help.
The world needs more compassion. We, as a people, need more compassion, but it also takes great courage. Let’s make the world a better place; have courage to throw kindness around like confetti!