Change without understanding is unhelpful to progress.

In watching this 1 minute clip from Al-Jazeera's new documentary on abortion, my thoughts when to many of the challenges people are facing due to others dictating change without understanding what they are trying to change. In this video a male lawmaker is asked, "Why would a woman want an abortion?" This was something he had no understanding of, the question just took him aback, he had just wanted to ban it.

Let's start having open dialogues on controversial topics and stop assigning moral high or low grounds to people, with or without understanding. Judgement is the key to losing connection and conversation. As humans we look for connection and belonging. When we don't have it, we suffer emotionally, mentally and yes, physically. Human beings need validation. This is true despite gender, age, race, culture, sexual orientation, liberal or conservative.

Do you need to agree with someone's actions to validate them? No, you do not. Validating someone's existence, feelings, thoughts and emotions is not the same thing as saying you agree with what they did. "It must have hurt and you must have been so angry when you punched the wall" is not saying you agree she punched the wall. "You must have been so scared and alone when you started to have a bad trip" is not saying you agree that he should have dropped acid. 

Delve deeper, ask questions, reflect what is being communicated. Build connections. Mental health is a "we" concern, not a "pointing fingers and backing away" problem.


~Amira Lodhi, MSW