The ‘joke’ is on all of us

October 10 was World Mental Health Awareness Day and several organizations and high-powered individuals shared their point of view on the subject. Stigma remained one of the pain points in addressing the gap between those seeking treatment and those who are suffering.

Perhaps it the lack of education among the wider populace, perhaps it is the lack of time or interest or even well-rounded (emotionally balanced) nurturing during one’s childhood that we are for the most incapable of empathizing with someone who is not demonstrating normative behavior.

During a screening of Joker here in Dubai, many in the audience burst out laughing awkwardly at some of the more painful moments onscreen, showing us how unprepared we are to support or even coexist with the Arthurs of this world. The downward spiral of a regular man who only seeked love and hoped for the best future for him and his mother, was abetted and then celebrated by a collective society.

Let’s not create more Arthurs in this world and lend a ear to someone who needs our time when we can. Let the Jokers and Harley Quinns play out as characters that the likes of Joaquin Phoenix and Margot Robbie leave behind in their dressing trailers at the end of a long day.

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