Book Hippo

Saturday, July 28, 2012


It's hard to be a human sometimes. I lived in a place called Pestalosie College when I was in my twenties. There were ten rooms to a section and in my section was a man with a mental disorder. Now, I didn't mind his loud sermons about 'Jesus lives in the toilet.' His screams didn't bother me. I've been blessed with being a heavy sleeper so he never kept me awake.

The others in my section were not so lucky. Oh, they complained and gave him trouble. "Hey, Markie, there's no one in the bathroom. I think Jesus stepped out." And Markie would rage.

I always tried to be nice to Markie and I found him to be a very sweet person, he just had that problem. Anyway, came the day when Markie moved out. Now every time I saw his room, I wondered where he slept. He had boxes that rose all the way to the ceiling and there was only a foot wide path. I don't know where he sat or if there was a path to the bed. These rooms were only about 4 foot by 11 foot so how he got all that stuff in there was a mystery to me.

He came by my room time after time that day with load upon load. "You're the only nice person here. "He said to me. "I hope you have better luck with this place than I had." And then he was gone and I've never heard from him since.

I guess my point is, I don't think he would have been yelling so much if the other people had been decent to him. My feeling is that the abuse or persecution of the mentally ill is what makes their illness so troublesome to others. They have no one to talk to and are so isolated that they just scream.

A lot of people will say, 'Well, those kind of people, why should we be nice?" But really, although I understand that they can be bothersome to light sleepers, I think there is a bigger reason to be nice, especially to small children who manifest mental illness. It's because we should let them be human. It's because the human race is worth treating well. It's also because everyone can do more than what they think they can and I believe when a mentally ill person can go to work and know that his co-workers will accept him or her. Then they'll be productive people, not relegated to poverty.

I just think the human race is worth the chance.

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