To empower anyone, is to have belief in them, no matter who they are, what disability they may have or the colour of their skin and sexuality. Equal opportunities and rights, to be the person they truly want to be. It is a strong, open, positive and nurturing word. It is a contract and argument, a resolution and an open invitation, to do your best, for yourself and those who may need a little more help and understanding!
Throughout my life I have seen many different people bullied, harassed, victimised or treated with comtempt, for no other reason, than they are different, unique or judged unsuitable. Because of my illness, I am covered by The Diability Discrimination Act. That was a shocker for me. I had technically become disabled over night and I didn't like it much! It's alright to label someone else, but when that label falls across your shoulders, you just don't want to accept it!
So I read the Act, disassociated myself from it and looked at it from someone elses perspective, with a physical disability. Yes you have certain rights, but above all it empowers those who suffer from Mental of Physical illness to achieve everything they wish for. There are no barriers to success! Suddenly I had become the volunteer with a challenging, chronic illness, experiencing their first day in their new job. I encountered pitfalls and a small number of minor issues, nothing that could not be sorted. The inbuilt protection in the Act, allowed me to safely negotiate my way around my new work place and have an enjoyable, informative first day!
That's what the Act offered me, my first day all over again. Mental illness has the same obstacles to success as Physical illness. I know that now. I would fight for the rights of all minorities, as I did with Stonewall in the 1990s. I would protect all of my colleagues what ever their status and above all I would stand up for anyone I believed to be right. I support friends and colleagues and have a proven record. The trouble is, others do not follow what I believe. No matter, I will still do what is right!
Stamp out bullying, harassment, victimisation and dishonourable conduct, wherever it is. You could become disabled over night, just like me and you could suffer all the challenges and and negativity I could have experienced. I have great employers, understanding and caring colleagues and that makes my life a little less hard.
It makes me want to fight harder and harder for those who need it. Don't ever ignore discrimination, that makes you no better than those who discriminate!
Peace and Love!