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The Woman at My Table

Posted on June 16, 2015 in Stigma

square891The lunchtime speaker at the Meeting of the Minds was barely audible, but sounded good from the snatches that we caught here and there. Because engagement was difficult, many of us at the table gave up and surfed on our cell phones.

Among our party was a woman. She was shy and simple, but had a fresh smile. Now and again, she would say something, sometimes to the point of discussion and sometimes entirely out of context. What I admired in my table mates was that we did not ignore her or try to act as if she were some crazy and embarrassing aunt at a holiday dinner, but always acknowledged her and let her take part in the conversation.

I think this is what is meant by living a life free of stigma. You take the mentally ill as they are, not conceiving of or treating them as children, but as full participants in life. This woman was just trying to be one of us. She reached out and we accepted her for it.

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