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The Older I Get, the More I Watch Stigmas Steal Others’ Joy

Merriam-Webster defines the word stigma as “a mark of disgrace . . .a stain or reproach, as on one’s reputation.” Look again and you’ll see that the dictionary further describes disgrace as “the loss of respect, honor or esteem; shame.”

Disgrace, stain, reproach, loss of respect, shame—I haven’t met anyone who pines for a single one of these things. If anythingfor all our differences—it seems to me that one of the things humans have in common is our drive to steer clear of these things.

So why, then, do we assign them to others? Why do we cast onto others what we shrug off ourselves? Every time we judge, every time we shun someone, every time we think we are superior, we have further assigned a stigma to someone elsethough we wouldn’t want it assigned to us. Perhaps we should revisit the old adage, “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” and then reapply it to our conglomerate mindset.


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