The humanity will reach its peak when every person will be accepted as it is no matter of the ability, age, race, appearance, religion, culture, and income. But, it seems that we still need to work on this as many people are prone to making judgments especially when someone is different.
In order for our world to be a better place for living we should accept every person for who he really is and thus celebrate the diversity. In this way we will create a world of peace and unity where we shall show empathy and understanding towards each other.
Many people are doing their best to embrace diversity, and one of them is Joao Stanganelli Jr. from Brazil.
Joao Stanganelli Jr belongs to the older generation and suffers from vitiligo, a skin condition that causes skin patches to lose their pigment thereby turning white with sharp margins.
Having this condition this grandpa knows the effect of this condition on people and their somewhat strange looks. He is an adult and knows how to handle it, but in the case of children this diversity can cause great emotional pain, therefore he decided to do something about it.
Vitiligo is not a life-threatening health issue and moreover it is not contagious, the mostly affected is the physical appearance and because of that causes great stress particularly when children are concerned. This skin condition is only one more aspect for school bullying and that harms the fragile mental state of these children.
Joao knows everything about this disease as he struggles with it for over 30 years. He was first diagnosed when he was 38 years old. He worked in the gastronomy industry, but he also suffered from a heart condition that dramatically changed his life. As a result of that he had to be active and healthy, and he with his wife chose crocheting. His first designed doll was for his granddaughter, but he did it differently by adding vitiligo skin patches so that his granddaughter will always remember him. He named the doll, Vitilinda, a unique doll with skin patches of vitiligo.
This doll was a great incentive for Joao to make more dolls that will convey a valuable message to children with some disability that they are beautiful and normal as any other child. These dolls will boost their self-confidence and for the other healthy children they will spread the message for respect and empathy towards people with some disability.
João explained how the process of crocheting has started:
“At first my fingers and back hurt a lot, today no more. I’m not yet retired; I still keep up my old work with food, but much less intensely. At the moment I spend 90% of my time with the dolls. I have many orders.”
His creations became viral as he posted them on social media like Facebook and Instagram. On these pages many people reported their negative experiences of their disabilities. They even wrote that their loved ones have been humiliated or shunned by others due to their conditions.
João has no issues with his physical appearance; he feels comfortable in his own skin and cannot understand the ongoing preoccupation with the way how someone looks. He believes that the most important thing in a person is his or hers virtues and character.
João concluded the following:
“My view of vitiligo seems to me to be very different from the general, I think it is necessary first that you have vitiligo, after this acceptance you choose what you want to do. I still quote Benjamin Disraeli: ‘Life is too short to be small.’
“The horrible spots are the spots on the character.”