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THISTLES AND SOCIAL STIGMA

Written by NiMechE Press

  • August 2, 2020
  • 0


To those who condemned us, to those who abandoned us, to those who infused our innocence with painful pus, to those who considered our bodies gratification for demeaning lust;


Have we become worthless, have we been tagged homeless, have we been christened hopeless, have been given less hope than Amoeba in the land of the shapeless


In spite of our resilience,
In spite of our persistence,
In spite of our godly insistence,
In spite of our innocence, they have considered us pestilence


Saying, they have failed the test,
Saying, they must leave the rest, saying they must lose their rest,
Saying, for they have lost their crest!


Little did they know that our marrows flowed with milk,
Little did they know that our manners were as soft as silk,
Little did they know that we could reach our peak,
Little did they know that our voices too could speak.


Even if no one cares, we will keep growing,
Even if no one cares, we will never stop sowing,
Even if no one cares, we will never stop growing,
Even if no one cares, we will always get going.

•••••••
The combination of the first letters of the first words of each stanza gives the full picture of how the society views those who have seemingly come short of “societal standard”- these set of people are viewed as thistles. Thistles are plants that have characteristic thorns but great flowers too. These wonderful plants are considered one of the worst things that can happen to a garden.

In the same light, the society views those whose mistakes and pasts are open to all as thistles that are never to be seen, heard or touched. The society places a huge emphasis on their thorns (their pains, regrets, mistakes, trials and their past) instead on their flowers (the good they have to offer to the society). The society stigmatizes against all whose human nature are glaring forgetting the fact that we are all human. Some people are targets of such discrimination just because of the way they were born and other unique features. Examples of people who are strong targets of social stigma are people with unwanted pregnancy, drug addicts, people living with HIV/AIDS and other diseases, people living with “disabilities”, and people with unique physical conditions(albinism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy). These people most of the time are themselves victims of the society and systems which they find themselves. For people whose conditions are seemingly self caused, this is not to justify their wrongs but to strengthen the fact that they too can be right.


Although the underlying motive behind social stigma is to purge the society and produce an all conforming one, it actually does the opposite. We should avoid social stigma at all cost as it further plunges these people into the abyss they seek to escape and does more harm than good. Instead they should be given a hand to come out of the abyss. These people should be given social acceptance, support, love and care. We should always remember that even the worst thistle can produce the best flowers and the best rose can produce the worst thorns.

#EndSocialStigma

©EmmyLee





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