I’m sure we can all picture what it looks like when people with money, power, and influence are mentally unhealthy and how that impacts the world around them. I mean, c’mon. (I seent it! *gestures broadly at all of human history*)
If we think mental health is important then we should encourage it for everyone. At the very least, we shouldn’t dismiss it for anyone.
The Meghan and Harry thing has really stirred this up. And it amazes me that they’ve become inhuman to some. Why?
Being on the far ends of a money, fame, or position spectrum puts you under pressure and can change your behavior for sure, for better or worse, either way on either end. But money, fame, and position or lack thereof doesn’t change your basic humanness.
I think most of us would say we’d rather have more wealth, popularity, and power (think empowerment not “power over”). Do we really believe it’s a trade off between those things and being worthy of love and support in difficult times? If we had more of anything, would we use it to empower ourselves and those around us or to exploit others? Can we handle being poor, unknown, and having no influence? Would we persevere with grace towards ourselves and those around us or let it justify ill treatment towards anyone and everyone?
I’ve struggled with mental health issues. I struggled when I was sleeping on a mattress on the floor of a nearly empty apartment and on a king sized mattress on a real bed frame in a gated neighborhood. Some of these reactions to Meghan and Harry really made me think: At what point up or down the scale of privilege would I no longer be deserving of compassion?
Would it be when I was poor enough that I should expect to be miserable and not have help? Or, when we could afford a big house so I have no right to complain about anything? What if I become famous? Or win the lottery? Or lose everything?
Why should compassion be dependent on any of those things? I imagine I’d receive less compassion if I turned hateful but that would be regardless of my status. And, it would be based on actual first hand witness of my hateful actions... in a different world, of course.
Mental health issues affect everyone and we need mentally healthy people across the board. We need people to seek help. We need to make sure poor people can get it and wealthy people aren’t ashamed to seek it. And if someone who has a position of power and influence can set an example for others (and you know they can) I want them to speak up. I want the masses to hear it. Maybe you personally do not need it but so very many people do.