When I think of a bright future, I think of a time when everyone will have the same opportunities, regardless of race, religion, culture, income, appearance, age, and ability.
Instead of celebrating diversity, we ended up judging and twisting differences, and such attitudes fracture societies.
Therefore, to create a world of peace and unity, we should recognize that everyone is shaped by experiences, cultures, and communities, so we should treat each other with empathy and understanding.
Let’s embrace diversity.
Joao Stanganelli Jr. of Brazil does it. This kind-hearted grandpa suffers from a skin condition called vitiligo and decided to do something for children with the same condition.
Vitiligo is a condition that makes patches of the skin lose their pigment, and turn white with sharp margins.
It is neither life-threatening nor contagious, but in a society focused on our physical appearance, it is extremely stressful, especially for children. Kids suffering from vitiligo are often bullied by their classmates and friends.
Joao has been living with vitiligo for over three decades. His first signs of vitiligo appeared at the age of 38. He had a career in the gastronomy industry, but a heart condition drastically changed his life.
To stay active and healthy, he took up crocheting along with his wife.
The first thing he did was a doll for their granddaughter, and he added several patches to it, for the girl to always remember him. In this way, Vitilinda, a beautiful doll with spots on the skin, was created.
He then got the idea to make more inclusive dolls that will spread the message to children to respect and value the disabled. Yet, the most important goal is to boost the self-esteem of children who live with vitiligo and lift their spirits.
“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.”
He also has a Facebook and Instagram page to display his creations. Numerous people confessed to him that their loved ones have been humiliated or shunned by others due to their conditions, and [raised his work.
He claims he feels comfortable in his body, and wonders why people are so preoccupied with physical appearance, while no one cares about their character.
“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.”