We have often heard about ranting of social victims regarding rejection from the society. They claim that they are the individuals of the same society therefore possess equal social rights and concerned authorities and common public should not neglect them. This is what we call ‘social acceptance’ that they demand from society as being the citizens of the same social system.
The neglected citizens of society broadly range from social division on the basis of economic status, gender, physical or mental health, sexual orientation or anything that makes someone less respectful among the people. There are numerous human rights organizations working for the uplifting of neglected segments of society, and their social acceptance through public awareness campaigns on local and international level. The aim of such movements is to strive for the rights of the unfortunate victims of fate and society, through collective effort and mass support.
In my opinion, social acceptance is not as much needed to raise the self-esteem of the social victims of fate. Contrary to the popular struggle to gain mass acceptance, self-acceptance is more crucial for one’s dignity. Before we ask and expect others to accept us, we should develop higher consciousness to accept us of who we are regardless of the unfortunate circumstances that make us that way.
Self-esteem is linked mostly with individual state of mind and being than the outside environment. Similarly self-image is more important than the world view of yours. If a mental health patient considers him/herself as an unfortunate victim or an undesired member of society, he/she would never overcome that stigma, not even if his family and social circle accepts or welcomes him to contribute in society. Likewise, if a rape victim reaches to the point to end her life deeming she has no place to live a respectful life in society, she will never be able to convince herself to start a new life with a hope and determination.
Therefore, before we desire social acceptance we should strive to attain a mental state where we truly accept ourselves without any discrimination or biased opinion about us. We should first kill our internal fears and prejudices in order to face the world with firm confidence and stand in front of society with dignity and pride.
We do more harm to ourselves by considering us lower than others in respect. By doing so, we give up all our rights and put ourselves at the mercy of society. We beg for social acceptance because we don’t get it from ourselves. Once we work internally, create harmony within and conquer the battle with the self, we come up with a new clearer self-image with high esteem and don’t need others to provide an opinion about us.
We are empowered to meet all social challenges by finding beauty in the wilderness. This happens, when we accept our fate and forgive ourselves of whatever happened to us and find a new perspective of looking at things. By doing so, our misery appears smaller and we land in the world of unexplored opportunities simply by making weaknesses as our unbeatable strengths.
When life takes something, it empowers us with a new blessing and strength but it is up to us whether we dwell upon the miseries and make it the center of our lives or we find the sparkling ray of light in the darkness and focus all our energies on that. For instance, Schizophrenics and bipolar people are blessed with immense creativity which they can use to introduce world to a great work of art.
Any person can make a significant contribution through his work in society regardless of their sexual orientation if he accepts himself and ends the internal battle with fate. Sometimes, we indulge in finding answers of complex questions through our limited reason and ignore the endless opportunities that nature brings before us.
In my opinion, self-acceptance is far more important and should be more desirable than social acceptance. The victims of fate and society should first create harmony within and attain internal peace. I am optimistic that they can win any social battle if they decide to come out of their victimized self-image and choose to be a significant and productive member of society. They should and must accept themselves so that no one else can reject their noble existence.
~ Umair R. ~
Originally published in Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences (JPMS)