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"What is wrong with me?" Nothing!

Updated on September 25, 2012

Since writing this article I have had it published in the Blackpool Gazette in the Livewire section. Feel free to check out the clipping on my blog here!

It feels odd, and somewhat sickening, to think that I was inspired to write this after learning that a boy I know was attacked in public due to his sexual orientation, and was reduced to thinking the only way out was to commit suicide. Luckily he was found in time, but at fifteen years old death should be the last thing to enter his mind. I was horrified when I found out about the attack on him, and it troubles me to think that there must be many others, of all ages, who feel the answer to their problems is suicide. And how many have actually succeeded?

The majority of people, if not all, understand and have experienced the feeling of fear. Whether that fear has been as a result of a nightmare, an instinct, a phobia, or maybe even a near death experience, most have come across it. Some experiences of fear are due to other people, usually because that person doesn’t like the victim who possesses the source of their anger, hatred, or whatever else that prompts them to treat that person wrongly, for whatever reason. Sometimes it’s a group of people who are persecuted. This can be a group of friends at school or work who others don’t like because they’re arrogant, or they’re lazy, or simply because they’re different.

Different. There is so much prejudice and discrimination for being different. Be the only Goth at your school and you’re a potential target for bullies. Be the only female, or male, at your work and you could be the butt of every joke. Be the only black or white person, gay or straight person – if you are different, then you are at risk of becoming a victim due to other people’s views, therefore causing you to be subjected to that feeling of fear. It’s not fair, but unfortunately that’s the way it is.

Of course, fear isn’t always due to just intimidation. According to Home Office Statistics, a total of 48,127 hate crimes were recorded from 1st January to the 31st December 2010 by all police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 39,311 of these attacks were racist, 4,883 were homophobic attacks, and 1,569 were attacks on people because of their disabilities. What troubles me the most is not the numbers, but the lack of a rational answer to the simple question of why. Why would someone want to hurt another person because they’re not like them?

I’m sorry, scratch that. Why would someone want to harm, maybe even kill, another person just for being themselves?

What are they trying to do? Beat the ‘wrongness’ out of them? Beat the black out of a black person; the white out of a white person; the gay out of a gay person? It’s hardly possible to remove all the ‘different’ people from the world. Homophobes, racists, sexists and all other forms of discriminating people seem to think that everyone in the world should be exactly the same – that’s my opinion anyway. If a company – Apple for example – were given a project to complete, would it be accomplished to the high standards we are used to if the staff all had the same qualification and abilities? They need the people who specialise in design. They need the people who specialise who specialise in finance.

It sounds ridiculous to think of members of a company being treated differently just because they specialise in a different part of a project, doesn’t it. Yet it seems to be perfectly okay to victimise people who have a different gender, race, religion or sexuality. Being different is what makes you you. The human race would be such a boring species if not for the variety and unorthodoxy of individuals.

I’m not saying that people should be direct and in-your-face about their differences, far from it. After all, that’s practically as bad as being prejudiced. I’m merely saying that people should be free to embrace their originality, find their place in the world, and be who they truly are. To be unique is a good thing, not a thing to be ashamed of, and I wish more of the population would realise that.

So if you are thinking, “What is wrong with me?” the answer is simple: nothing. There is nothing wrong with you. Be your own person, and in return allow others to do the same.


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    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 5 years ago from Tasmania

      Ok, CM, let's look at a couple of points. Please be aware I am in no way qualified in the subject of psychology, all the ideas I present here are from observation and simple deduction. Always open to other opinions, hoping they will be sensible and caring of course.

      First, on that question of "evolving." Evolution as we understand it, assumes the "survival of the fittest." In other words if a trait is not conducive to the survival of the individual and the species, that trait will gradually die out as a result of non-reproduction, being deprived of sufficient food, vulnerability to outside attack, over-population, etc.

      One case I see in our modern world is where, if the group most likely to be killed or maimed in a high-speed motor crash is those unable to think ahead and take precautions, and if those people (e.g., young people) are then not able to reproduce, then their genes will not be passed on. Those in the group who CAN think ahead and take precautions are more likely to survive and pass on their genes. You would only be able to notice this change if it were viewed in retrospect like after 1000 years.

      Secondly, in the process of becoming more familiar with a "difference" in society, individuals eventually become more tolerant. Less threat. More acceptance. More mutual support. Protection. Welcoming. More than that, the "different" individuals acquire a value, for example where homosexual persons in society are seen as having important skills and characteristics which benefit society as a whole.

      This principle works in the garden too. Where you see something as a "weed," because it's prolific, it gets in your way, causes you more work, has no use in your view, you pull it out, destroy it. As soon as you find it can be eaten, or it gives shade, or adds nutrients to the soil, etc., it becomes valuable and you will not even dream of chucking it out.

      I'll stop rambling on now. Let someone else comment.

    • cmiller0161 profile image

      Claire Miller 5 years ago

      That is a very fair point, Jonny. I never really thought of it like that, but it does make sense. So do you think animals will...'evolve' (since I'm lacking the word I actually mean) like we are? Because it is apparent that we are becoming more accepting, slowly but surely.

      You talk a lot of sense :)

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 5 years ago from Tasmania

      I agree, CM. Very well written Hub. Direct to the point, good grammar, good punctuation.

      Can I just add a little insight to your question why? It's inherent in many animal and bird species - to attack and often destroy an individual of the same species that is different.

      We humans are simply another species, with all those animal instincts still deep within our psyche.

      I feel the solution to this is to first recognise the trait. Then understand it. Then use our intelligence and good sense to find ways around the problem. It's very normal and natural to get extremely angry and sad about the whole thing.

      So starting with folk closely around you, family, friends, etc., we can grow a warmer and more reconciling attitude. Then just hope that others will follow the example.

      What do you think about this?

    • cmiller0161 profile image

      Claire Miller 5 years ago

      Thank you :)

    • riverofart profile image

      riverofart 5 years ago from Bradford, Wy, UK

      I really love this article. - standing innovation for you -