Friday, March 30, 2012


Dear Healthy People:

Not everyone is like you, even if they look normal. Many suffer terribly from chronic illnesses that rob them of mental acuity, physical stamina, and hope. They need patience; they need you to go the second mile; they need sympathy.

These poor folks do not need angry outbursts or lectures on toughing it out. They do not need your disgust that their disease is an inconvenience to you. Consider what their maladies do to them. Reflect on the emotional pain you add to them by your unloving actions. You are compounding their misery and perhaps turning it into agony. You are needlessly increasing sorrow in this world of vanity and vexation of spirit. You are being unwise and foolish. You are re-wounding those already broken, bleeding, and deeply wounded.

Healthy people, for God's sake, use your health (which others lack) to minister to the chronically ill, to help lighten the load. Listen to the laments--and enter into them.

1 comment:

  1. Healthy people can be really annoying. Some of them are frightened of us because if disease has happened to us, then it could just as well happen to them. They have to find something to blame so they can assure themselves that they will not be stricken.

    Many of them suffer from some kind of Pollyanna notion that we can simple think or will ourselves well. These people have to believe that they have this kind of mental or spiritual strength, so that if they are stricken, they can will themselves well.

    In the United States there are between 125 million (CDC statistic) and 133 million (Robert Wood Johnson statistic) with chronic illnesses. That is more than ONE IN THREE people!

    Many of these illnesses are invisible. Mine is. No one can see the silent organ damage that systemic lupus causes. No one can see that my risk of cardiovascular events it 6 times the normal population.

    As long as we are silent, as long as we think we are alone, as long as we hide our conditions, we are isolating ourselves and one another and we are enabling the 2/3 of the population that are healthy to live in a fantasy world where disease only happens to bad and flawed people.