Growing up we sometimes used the phrase such and such had the cooties. Which was just a made up game for kids to play. Usually towards the person no one liked. And mostly in grade school. Then puberty hit and it kinda fizzled out. You did not hear it as much. But in reality we still carry that phrase in our lives day to day as adults. Nothing has really changed with the way we thought back then but even at times we could be cruel as children . I find that we as adults still play a game of cooties.
For example.. you have a friend and that person tells you that such and such has this disease or that. If it is cancer or something like that you go to the old tried and true response of ” oh my God I am so sorry.. Is there anything I can do to help. But if that same friend came and told you that such and such had AIDS . We respond in a totally different way. The response then is..” Oh my God are you serious? I don’t want her next to me. Therefore another game of cooties. We still look upon things that we don’t understand as we did as children . It is just sad that as adults we still play the cooties game. And it is not just with disease. It is with everything. None of us really truly have never not judged some one for one thing or another. We also look down on the ones that are picked on because they are different than us. When in reality we should be lifting them up and trying to understand what they are going through. There are many diseases in this world that get judged and they have a stigma. Most people look at me and are like but you don’t look sick. When in reality I am fighting for my life every single day. I am not ashamed of my illness and I realized that it does not make me . It is just another part of me. But it does not define who I am.
I share my experience with others freely. I do it because I am not ashamed. I do understand how I got it. And I do get angry when people act like I am a leper . But the reality of my situation is I am not afraid of my disease. You may be but I am not. I live with it and have learned many things about myself and what I want out of my life. I refuse to let the ignorant rent space in my head. I have too much to focus my energies on. I am fighting to live.
So the next time you want to judge someone for something that you do not understand. Just remember the cooties game. You may be grown. But we all play it. There are many forms of it. Before you judge.. Ask the questions you have. You may be surprised at the answers you get.