Not a Freak, but a Human Being

Amazon.com: The Elephant Man : Películas y TV
Image Source: Amazon.com

I am not an animal, I am a human being. -John Merrick, The Elephant Man

How can people be so cruel I ask repeatedly? We see painful evidence of this displayed publicly. It breaks my heart when I see people, especially kids who are unjustly trolled struggle with these crass attacks. When I watched the movie, The Elephant Man after its release, I am reminded of the myriad of emotions about how I felt as I looked at it. I was mad, sad, and infuriated with his attackers but yet, comforted by John Merrick’s heart. It was typical that when a fair or circus came to town, they had to have something or someone so extreme looking to us that people used the term, Freak Show.

In this movie, John Merrick was afflicted with a congenital disorder known as Proteus Syndrome (elephant man syndrome). As you know, people taunted, teased, and humiliated John due to his disfigurement. Yet, when Dr. Frederic Treves discovers him in a sideshow, he brings Merrick into his home and finds that his appearance does not mirror his refined soul and heart. Typically, individuals who experience such horrifying treatment usually have a kind heart and humble demeanor.

Earlier last week, I wrote a brief message, Under Cover, about not judging people by how they look. This movie (a period piece) depicts one of the perfect examples of such judgment. I often find that when people are bullied, ridiculed, and trashed based on unwarranted circumstances that they could not prevent or control, I want those instigators to get a good taste of their own medicine. Sometimes I feel that the venom spewed out of people’s mouths with the intent to attack someone’s mind, spirit, or body needs to be poured back on top of them as soon as possible. Eventually, they do. Those who taunt, judge, and defame, get a lesson in “payback,” but it may not be as easy a lesson as their perverted actions, and it may come from someone who wields a lot more power and influence than them.

I honestly hate to see people mistreated or threatened in any way, just for the hell of it. Empathy and compassion are not complex equations to implement. Why don’t we see and experience more of these elements than seeing other bad behaviors activated? Choices!

46 thoughts on “Not a Freak, but a Human Being

  1. Oh, Kym! This is heartbreaking! 😦 I’ve never seen the movie but definitely will put it on my to-order list! I feel the way you do, I cannot fathom how anyone could treat another human being so horribly no matter how they look and when I hear of it, I want so badly for them to have to switch places with the person they hurt so they can find out how it feels! This is such a great post, sweetie! Thank you so much for speaking out and bringing awareness to this kind of cruelty! ❤
    Have an awesome week ahead! ❤

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  2. I remember what a good movie this was! Hollywood should make more movies like this one. This is a fantastic post, Kym, and really drives home the point about bullying and superficially judging others. I do believe in karma because I’ve seen it in action. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Oh Cherie, I appreciate your kind and thoughtful comment. 🙏🏼 Of course, you are on the frontline of fighting this horrible disease of sheer nastiness. It’s appalling. But know that many of us appreciate you calling out this type of cruelty on a daily basis, and shutting them down when they call themselves attacking you for doing so. Call ’em out anyway!!! 🗣😠👏🏼 More peace and power to you girlfriend!!! 🤗💐😘💖😍

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  4. I remember seeing this movie in my late teens and feeling VERY uncomfortable. I couldn’t understand how people could act like that to another human being. Years later while helping someone deal with a bully at work, I came to realise that people behave badly mostly because of fear or because of how they are being treated themselves (in a different environment). It turned out our office bully was being bullied at home and taking it out on someone at work. It all worked out well in the end, and I’ve gone off-track with the movie. People taunt people who are different to them because it is easier than to try to understand (or they fear “catching it”). We still have a long way to go, us humans.

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  5. Oh Dawn, thanks so much for that powerful comment and testimony. Perhaps the more we call out such an injustice to the spirit, people will think twice about their actions. I agree with you, more movies need to be made to enhance and project the spirit of love, empathy, and compassion. 😍💖🥰 It seems like that message needs to be shouted from the rooftops everyday. I appreciate you kindness my friend. 🙏🏼💖💐

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  6. Yes Indeed! it is us everyday people from around the world. Just look at this blogging community. We support and encourage each other to be the best we can be. We desire righteousness, peace and a sense of belonging. However the power that be will not highlight goodness on a large scale, because it will become contagious and haters won’t have anywhere to hide… However, we shall continue to let our light shine and not become discourage….much love 🙏🏾💐❤️

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  7. Oh my gosh Sandra, what a GREAT analogy and connection to the situation in your work environment. It’s sad, but it’s good that the situation was rectified, because a hostile work environment is divisive and unproductive.

    You are so absolutely right, we still have a long way to go, but thank goodness such undesireable behavior is being called out more and conflicts can be dealt with peacefully. Thank you my friend!!! 🤗💖🥰

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  8. AAAAAMEN! Speak it! 🙏🏼I remember when folks used to say “The Devil is busy.” Then I would say, “Then we, God’s warriors should be even busier!” Although I may get a nod, or a deer in the headlights look, I still say darkness cannot comprehend the light. And sooooo….we continue to SHINE!!! Huh??? 🌟🥰✨ Now, pass the collection plate! LOL 😁🎉😘

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  9. Wow! Dear Kym, I cry with this, we need empathy, humans being kind humans, we need to respect others. We deserve a wonderful and peaceful world.
    Thanks for share dear friend, Very interesting.
    Send you a big hug dear friend!

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  10. Thanks so much Elvira! Let’s continue to spread our light and our love, no matter what. 🕯💖🪔 You’re right, we deserve a wonderful and peaceful world. While there are some people we can’t change, we certainly can control our behavior. Thanks once again for your kindness Elvira! Stay strong! 🙏🏼✨🙏🏼

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  11. My dearest Kym, I love that you shared this. By no means are any of us perfect but it deeply saddens me to witness this behavior. I remember when I first saw the movie & thought about how I would feel if it were me. It has always been a reminder to simply treat others regardless of appearance, disability, etc. as I would want to be treated.
    There have even been occasions where I’d ask people about their conditions & they respond openly, appreciating that I ask questions rather than judge or make assumptions.

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  12. I remember watching this and crying pretty hard at the mistreatment and violence bestowed upon the young man. It’s interesting to contemplate these types of mistreatments today, which, as you write, happen all the time. Unfortunately the people that perpetrate this kind of violence have been victims of it too. Not a justification, just a fact. How do we break this cycle? How do we teach those that have not been loved deeply that to love is to live. This post is a wondrous reflective opportunity for us all. Thank you for posting this today, kindred! I appreciate you more than words could possible articulate!!!! ❤️🌹🌻❤️🥰✨🦋

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  13. AMEN Tammy! People don’t want to be shunned for something beyond their control, like a birth defect, and other external factors which I think we can relate to completely. When I saw this movie, it gripped my heart so deeply and I cried like a baby because of simply how people treated him. 😭

    Like you, I try talk to people as if nothing was obviously different. I am reminded of a little girl in my Zumba class years ago who always came up to the front row where we were at. Her mother would try to take her to the back where she wouldn’t bother us, but me and a few other girls told her no, and to please let her stay up there with us. Laura looked forward to being up there with us at every session. She brought an energy that some of our “normal” people didn’t have. Her mother told us that she always looked forward to coming and said she didn’t want to be late getting to our classes. ⌚

    Perhaps you could say we made a difference for her, but in reality, she made a difference to us. I am so grateful for that moment in time. Thanks so much for your moving message. It warms my heart my dear friend! 💖🥰💞

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  14. Jeff my friend, you’re gonna make me cry. You know, you are right about the behaviors of some people reflecting the environment that propelled the toxicity of their actions. It’s unfortunate, but it can be addressed and corrected. These individuals are going to have to first recognize that their bullish behavior is a problem, then they are going to have to decide if they want to change their behaviors. While some things may not have initially been their fault, they now have the opportunity to correct ill-mannered behavior.

    Thanks so much for your wise analysis my dear friend Dr. Flesch! 😘💐🤗💖🌞💝🥰

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  15. People have the ability to behave or misbehave. It’s just their “choice” on which path they choose to take. They have to make the decision to either do better, be better or remain the same. I love Maya Angelou’s simple quote, “When you know better, you do better.” Sometimes I just wonder if people will ever learn, or whether they really “want” to learn to do and be better! SMH 🙄

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  16. Thanks Kym for your very important message and heart. I can’t believe I’ve never seen it but it’s on my “must see” list now, thanks to you my friend. Walk a mile in the other’s shoes.. right?!💖🙏🙏🙏 xo

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  17. Aww, my dearest kindred, I totally get that, it is such a tough topic; it makes me misty-eyed just thinking about it. I completely agree with you about the choice to make that change, to start today, right now, with new choices and new actions. Exactly so!

    Ha! You’re most welcome, my dear friend, Kym. Always! 😘✨🦋💖🤗🌹a

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  18. Oh my gosh Cindy, I get you and thank you for your kind words my dear. I too love the show and tell effect. I hope you get an opportunity to see it. 🙏🏼

    Have a FANtabulous evening my dear. 👏🏼🌙🥰🌟🤗🥂😘💐

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  19. This movie makes me so sad! I remember the first time I saw it, I cried and cried and couldn’t shake that said feeling for a long while. I think folks love to see someone that is worse off then them so they can feel better about their miserable selves. I swear we are some judgmental stank asses!

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