I broke my leg You say. OKAY–You need crutches. I sprained my ankle You say. OKAY–You “temporarily” need crutches. Notice the commonality: injury, accident, illness…a measure of health missing requires crutches.
However, as soon as You are WELL enough, You shed the crutches, right?! Does it make sense to continue to walk with crutches long after an injury has healed? IF You read my post back in October: World Mental Health Day: When the Caregiver is a Child when i sprained my ankle…i couldn’t wait to walk on my own again without crutches!
What would happen IF i continued to use crutches when i really didn’t need to?! My walking would be distorted…i would be slow-moving, etc.
Think: Could we run fast with crutches?! We would be impaired, hindered in our stride to some extent. We all know how important “walking” (movement) is to longevity of living!:)
Some of us need crutches. Most of us would rather walk without them, correct?? (Can You be a little more succinct joanie?-lol) i’ll “try.” 😉 Here goes:
Abstractly, crutches come in many forms: alcohol, drugs, religion, sugar, science, food, superstition, prejudice, etc. (All of us prop ourselves up with something at sometime or another.) You name it. You list it. PLEASE self-examine, i’ll do the same, and see what emotional/mental crutches we may be using that we really don’t need! (Think: What would life be like IF we use only what we truly need?)
PLEASE check this out: excerpt from an article i enJOYed:
“An emotional crutch is a form of self-deception that causes a person to ignore reality and prevents him from reasoning logically. For example, some people use alcohol as a crutch. Initially, alcohol may make them feel more self-confident and able to cope with life’s challenges. But in the long run, those who lean on the crutch of alcohol harm themselves.”
Check out this definition of Prejudice i read: “What is Prejudice?”
“Researchers struggle to define prejudice. Some say it is “a negative attitude or feeling toward an individual based solely on that individual’s membership in a certain group.” Others say that this attitude is based on “insufficient information,” which leads to the “prejudgment of members of [a] group.” Whatever the case, prejudices can be formed against another person because of his race, weight, gender, language, religion, or virtually any perceived difference.”
Insufficient Information and/or Misinformation Causes Some to Use Crutches Unnecessarily!
Please notice this: American pollster George Gallup, Jr., observed that “you really don’t find much difference between the churched and the unchurched in terms of cheating, tax evasion, and pilferage, largely because there is a lot of social religion.” He adds that “Many are just putting a religion together that is comfortable for them and titillates them and is not necessarily challenging. Somebody called it religion a la carte. That’s the central weakness of Christianity in this country [U.S.A.] today: There is not a sturdiness of belief.”
How sturdy are Your personal beliefs/belief system (whether that is science or spirituality, etc.)...is it solidly based on fact or fiction?! Can Your beliefs walk on their own or are they bolstered up by crutches?! Most of us would condemn prejudice and discrimination and poor choices that harm ourselves and others…Yet Prejudice and discrimination (as well as poor choice) remain a neighborhood, community, national, global issue affecting each of us indirectly/directly. Our beliefs shape our actions. Our beliefs shape our world.
It’s sad and difficult to comprehend that some are even prejudiced toward the sick and would stigmatize, for example, the mentally ill and others.
Recently read this: The Global Face of Prejudice:
“Despite embracing [the country’s] diversity and instituting numerous legal and policy provisions to protect the rights of diverse communities, racism has continued to be a serious human rights challenge.” –Amnesty International briefing on Canada, 2012.
“[Forty-eight] percent of Europeans believe that too little is done to tackle discrimination in their country.”–Intolerance, Prejudice and Discrimination: A European Report, 2011.
“Violence and discrimination against women remained widespread in many countries.” –Amnesty International Report: Africa 2012
“Dalits (“Untouchables”) suffer from endemic discrimination, especially in the economic, social, and cultural spheres.” –Human Rights Watch World Report, Nepal 2012.
Here’s some ancient advice/wisdom to THINK about: “The heart is more deceitful than anything else.” (Jeremiah 17:9, Holman Christian Standard Bible) In other words, it’s not always easy for any of us to notice/detect IF traces of prejudices dwell deep in our heart. We can deceive ourselves or others into believing we are totally tolerant. Or we could easily rationalize our negatives attitudes “thinking” we have valid reasons for these.
Interestingly, an ancient book of wisdom, the Bible, openly acknowledges a common prejudice: “People judge others by what they look like.” (1Samuel 16:7, Contemporary English Version) (This common tendency can have very tragic consequences, n’est pas?) Have You ever been discriminated against because of your looks? i have. (i know what it’s like to be hated because of the way you happen to look. Who has control over what you inherit.) It’s curious, how others see us, so different from the way we see ourselves, eh. It takes time to see the true, inner person.
1 emotional crutch/tendency i noticed about myself…hiding behind my hair. 1 reason i grew my hair out very long for a very long time. The bangs hide my forehead and the long sides covered my cheeks. I began feeling safe/comfortable hiding behind all this hair for whatever reason. Then 1 day i woke up to this “stupid” crutch and decided to cut it shorter and pull it back. (I don’t think, i’ll ever get rid of the bangs though). Still not sure IF the long hair served the purpose i wanted…a distraction from my face. Wouldn’t it be NICE IF we all took the time to see the real person behind any face…or hair!:)
FYI: “The Greek term rendered “partial” literally means “taker of faces.” 1 Scholar explains this term further: “It refers to a judge who looks at a man’s face and renders a verdict, not in accord with the merits of the case, but according as he likes or dislikes the man.”
“There are many valuable treaties and tools–as well as a comprehensive global framework–to prevent and eradicate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. Nevertheless, racism continues to cause suffering for millions of people around the world.” ~U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
Whatever our faith..belief system in anything/anyone…should be solidly based on clear, impartial evidence! Emotional Crutches whatever form they may take are deceptive and detrimental.
Notice these thought-provoking points i read:
“Some equate faith with gullibility. The Bible has much to say about faith. Yet nowhere does it encourage us to be gullible or naive. Nor does it condone mental laziness. On the contrary, it labels people who put faith in every word they hear as inexperienced, even foolish. (Proverbs 14:15, 18) Really, how foolish it would be for us to accept an idea as true without checking the facts! That would be like covering our eyes and trying to cross a busy street just because someone tells us to do it. Rather than encouraging blind faith, the Bible urges us to keep our figurative eyes open so that we are not deceived.” ~Is religious faith an emotional crutch?
“Anyone inexperienced puts faith in every word, but the shrewd one considers his steps.” (Proverbs 14:15) Do the shrewd walk with emotional/mental crutches?!
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photo-woman-walking-with-crutches available at Shutterstock
photo-crutches-in-a-recycle-bin-used-to-hold-items-to-be-reduced-and-reused-to-help-the-environment available at Shutterstock