Tag Archives: self-help

Overcoming Internalized Stigma

I have for some time written and spoken about my “internalized stigma.”  That concept could also be applied to race and religion, for all sorts of people, from the caste system in India to poor people globally.

It’s a matter of low self-esteem due to society’s view of you, or more pertinently, your own view of yourself through that eternal prism.  This also pertains to gender, appearance, and so many human qualities.

What is the solution to these external factors which are then internalized?  Some of these difficult stigmas can be overcome if one by one, million by million, billion by billion, we come to realize through faith that each of us and all of us have a “little piece of God” since the dawn of humankind.

Since 1963 I have lived with and eventually overcome the internalized stigma of bipolar disorder, and whatever other mental difficulties I received through my environment.  My experience was that building genuine self-esteem with humility and without arrogance was no easy task with mental illness.  I suspect this would be the same for others, whether they are overcoming stigmas associated with gender, race, religion and other human conditions.

We humans tend to label people far too quickly.  The reality of it is that we are much more alike than we are different.  I believe one essential key to overcome humankind’s toughest problems is to reach out globally to invoke a faith that each of us and all of us have a “little piece of God.”  Thus, we must be kind to ourselves and all others, including those that don’t fit our perceptions of “our kind of people.”  After all, we are all God’s children and we should not judge others with bias and prejudice, especially from appearances alone.

Government and charities can help in terms of health and education.  But only business can solve the world’s poverty, especially for the 2.7 billion people who are living on $2 or less per day.  Gandhi stated that “violence begets violence.”  I fully agree.  The reverse is true, too, as I have written:  “Kindness begets kindness.”

I want to be, and it is my calling to be, a pathfinder toward Heaven on Earth, whether that involves being a public servant or serving like Gandhi did.  That will be up to others to assess.  I thank God for the opportunity to serve in whatever I am lead.

Self-reliance is key to our goal of Heaven on Earth!

“I will try to love and help create a Heaven on Earth.”  With God’s enduring, steadfast love we can do it.  But I worry about trusting government too much rather than self-reliance.

After World War II, too many people in the Western world assumed that governments could solve our problems.  Some leaders, such as President Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, knew better.  But the pendulum has swung so far toward government solutions, especially in Japan, Southern Europe and the United States, that too much of the world has enormous national debts and obligations.

But at the same time, humankind has progressed enormously, not just in technology, but in more democracies, abolishment of slavery in the United States, and practically all the world, women’s suffrage in the United States and elsewhere and even animal rights.

I heard in India recently that they expected the United States to be about 40 percent vegetarian in the future.  People think green in many aspects of life and many governments are reflecting this movement.

The key to the future is not in technology.  It’s in us.  We must work and play and love with the passion for all—living by The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”