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STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION ARE HERE, but SO IS HOPE!

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Hope for a better day and life ahead is here for all to avail ourselves. So why do December and the holiday season think they are exempt from any of this? Naturally, December will have plenty of hope and a fair share of STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION. My role is to assist everyone through their time in the labyrinth of the “Days of Our Lives.” At least, I will do my best in our journey. Is everyone ready to continue? I know I am. 

Ho, Ho, Ho! Hope is in the air. “High Hopes,” originally sung by Frank Sinatra and performed by others, mention a probability of hope for all of us. Sadly, both STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION are here, too. Especially during these holidays, they speak of bad times and cruelty. Of course, many non-believers go around spouting negativity like, “Bah Humbug,” or “There is no Santa Claus”. However, there is still hope. Continue to read on! Right here on Planet Earth, we have other religions with many ideas.

My focus is to discuss hope plus STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION as mental health-related to holidays. No belief is necessary. Yes, yes, STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION, as well. Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a sure thing to happen. Isn’t that what the December holidays are about? The National Anthem of Israel, “Hatikvah,” literally means Our Hope. This anthem was written and published as a poem in 1876 or 1877. The State of Israel was finally established in 1948, the first stanza and refrain were adopted as its national anthem. 

In the troubled Middle East, religions and cultures sometimes mobilize STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION methods to gain an advantage against each other. A song by the musical band War, “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”, fits the mood quite well and offers hope in our volatile world. Several religions share the same city, Jerusalem, as their focal point. Now, hope comes into play – there is hope that all people of all faiths will live in peace and harmony without STIGMA or DISCRIMINATION anywhere.

Tell me, everyone, isn’t this what the December holidays are all about? During this critical time of year, most of us sing and pray for hope and goodwill towards humanity. On the other side, STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION are here, too. Christmas time signifies the birth of Jesus, who gave people around the world hope with the promise of freedom and prosperity for all. Chanukah is celebrated with the hope that people will survive just as the Maccabees soldiers did years ago. The lyrics of a song by Peter, Paul, and Mary begin with its title: “Light one candle for the Maccabee children.” Plus, it ends with, “Don’t let the lights go out.” What a great concept! The light will shine for all to see, and let it shine forever and ever.

Hope Springs Eternal,” an expression used by Alexander Pope in his work, An Essay On Man,” shares his optimistic point of view on humanity. He asserts humans will continue to have hope, no matter the odds. During the holiday season or anytime during the year, hope can come to display itself in many ways. In stark contrast to hoping, the terms STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION will appear also.

Hope vs. STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION feels like a good versus evil situation or David vs. Goliath syndrome, but if we think Hope Springs Eternal, we know that hope inevitably wins. However, for the years ahead, it appears that hope, STIGMA, and DISCRIMINATION will continue to coexist. Still, the more we believe, hope, the less STIGMA, and DISCRIMINATION will impact humanity.

Author Note: 

As we close out the last year of perfect vision (2020), we see many expressions of STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION. 2021 was another year for people struggling and people like myself who continue to write about them. When one gets some time, please read each of my articles. In part one, we talked about STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION in general terms. In part two, we show how these words have influenced the Media. Part three discusses and demonstrates how SELF-STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION affect us. Part four also provides amble means to combat each evil, so be sure to put these ideas to use.

And so another of my series articles on STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION is over. I hope you enjoyed reading this piece and possibly learned a thing or two. Please don’t despair. I will still be writing articles for the holidays. Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa to all, and try to make the new year and future years ahead very hopeful and remarkable. 

See you in the Newsletters and the NewsBlogs.

About the Author

Howard Diamond CPS (Certified Peer Specialist)

Howard Diamond, CPS (Certified Peer Specialist) is a hardworking Editorial Board Member and eager contributor to Mental Health Affairs. He has worked in various settings all over Long Island and New York State where he resides. His articles are layered with incredible profound insights into his health and state of being, which resonate with his audience do deeply struggling with their mental health and connection to the bigger world. Howard has a dedicated following of readers and he also writes for other websites on his lived experience and ongoing thoughts on mental health. We are happy to have him working with the site and being so gracious with his time, energy, and dedication to our site.
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