I believe in being open minded. I believe that people should be receptive to new and different ideas. To be non-judgmental about the opinions of others. People everywhere should be willing to consider new points of view brought forward by anyone. Open minded people have their own thoughts, opinions and ideas, but they do listen to others and are willing to try something new.
The commercial on TV say depression hurts everyone. I have seen the effect that depression has on a family.
As a kid growing up, I loved family parties. Seeing all of my family gathered together always brought a smile to my face. But the family parties eventually got smaller.
My Uncle Mike had depression. I didn’t know this as I was growing up. I often wondering why as I got older that Uncle Mike and his wife Laura stopped coming to family gatherings. Even their two son’s, Danny and Bobby, stopped coming to the get together. By the time I was a teenager, I could see right through the lame excuses. When I was sixteen even the birthday cards and gifts stopped coming. Eventually I only saw Uncle Mike once a year on Christmas Eve. The Christmas Eve family gathering was always at Uncle Mike’s house. No one else in the family could have the Christmas Eve holiday at their house. Later I realized this was because Uncle Mike wouldn’t attend if the holiday was elsewhere. It wasn’t until my Uncle Mike died from cancer that I realized it was his bouts with depressions that kept his family from attending.
After Uncle Mike’s death, my Aunt Laura suddenly became the fun aunt. Aunt Laura was now attending family gatherings. Aunt Laura was fun to be around. Before she would always be at Uncle Mike’s side, contributing very little to the conversation. Now Aunt Laura is the life of the party. Since Uncle Mike’s death, Aunt Laura has traveled to New York City and has taken two vacations to Florida. This would have never happened if Uncle Mike was still alive. The Christmas Eve holiday now rotates between family members.
Because of the transformation of my Aunt Laura, I am much more open minded and non-judgmental. Even though I eventually was informed of my Uncle Mike’s illness, I never thought that this was the reason why the family gatherings got smaller. I thought my uncle’s family was just quite and unsocial. I know realize that like the commercial says, depression hurts everyone. Each day I try to remain open minded and remind myself that I often don’t know what is going on in a person’s life. I don’t judge my cousins, Danny and Bobby, for still not attending most family gatherings. I believe in the saying don’t judge a person unless you have walked a mile in their shoes.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.