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I recently read an article on emotional health and more precisely hurt, where researchers at the University of Rochester found that not only is it devastating to be ignored by others, but that those who are the ostracizers, bare the same amount of emotional unhealthiness.

Researchers performed a test where they had participants sit at a computer and play a game of toss the ball with, what they thought were other participants elsewhere, when in reality it was just playing against the computer. The participants were told to ignore one of the computer players on purpose, and only throw the ball to the other one, mind you, understanding that they were playing against real live human beings.

They also tested another group of people who were instructed to throw the ball to everyone, letting everybody get involved. The researchers found that the mood and irritability of those who were instructed to dis-include someone was far higher than those who were all participating together.

The researchers used the same computer game to test those who had the ball thrown to them, and those who did not, and those who were ignored, as imagined felt moody, sad and irritable.

Decisions to Include or Not Include

We’ve all, at one time or another felt the sting of being ignored by other people, and unfortunately, we’ve probably been on the other end, doing the ignoring at times as well. There are whole online communities, like Facebook and others, that are set up on the idea of inclusion, wherein people on a daily basis make decisions to include someone in their circle of friends or not include them.

Mental health statistics across America, have shown a sharp incline of those being treated for mental health related issues. At the same time a sharp incline in self-absorbed activities such as video games, internet, social networks, etc. was shown.

As we slowly begin to cut off the real world, nature, and the interaction with friends, we begin to build a synthetic world that over time cuts us off from the true nature of being a human being on a real and living planet. The example that Jesus set was one of openness and the acceptance of everyone, no matter their creed, gender, or beliefs. By fostering the emotional health of our fellow men and women, we are participating in the purest form of life, which is love and acceptance.

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By Benjamin DuBose. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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