Mental illness is an imminent threat to societies all around the globe. No country is immune to a mental health crisis, brewing in almost every nook and cranny, eclipsing us humans without discriminating between age, class, or gender. The reason is not perplexing; mental discomfort is not as easily identified as other illnesses. A person might be wearing a radiating smile on their face, but in all its probability, it can also be a mask to hide the unbearable agony simmering inside.
The increasing numbers of mental illnesses further verify this harsh reality. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 21% of adults were reported to be suffering from some sort of mental illness in the US alone. This means every fifth person you meet is experiencing inexplicable pain. In such bleak times, seeing Rahul Maharaj and his optimistic aura rejuvenates your hope for a better world.
Which is exactly what he does for a living – spreading hope, sharing positivity, and pouring much-needed optimism into hopeless souls. And guess what, he is so brilliant in this craft that he leaves a positive impact on every person, and whoever meets him feels a wave of positive energy inside themselves.
“If we look around ourselves, we’ll realize life is beautiful. You see, there’s dance, there’s music, there’s art, there’s science; life cannot be insipid with having these things around,” says Rahul. “What makes our lives miserable is our negative attitudes and toxic lifestyles that not only harm us but affect the collective mental health of our society. Just as violence begets violence, toxicity begets toxicity,” he further added.
Rahul believes we’re at a crucial moment where there’s a strong need for a revolution in our approach to mental health. And he is not entirely wrong.
As a society, we are not sensitized about the intricacies of our behavior and how it might impact the person sitting next to us. We callously utter anything without realizing the discomfort our words may create for others. And this is just one teeny-tiny example of behavioral toxicity that has become a mundane part of our lives. Normalizing insensitive acts, such as physical abuse, gender discrimination, name-calling, and defamation, especially against women and the queer community, who face sexist and slanderous encounters daily, is just another instance of that.
It all boils down to creating a crisis-like situation for mental health, evident from the numbers mentioned above. Rahul’s mission, amidst such challenging times, is to provide safe space through his show, Your Life Experiences With Rah, to everyone in order to create an enabling environment where people can come forward and share their stories of how badly others treated them and how bravely they fought it and changed their lives.
And this is something that we can expect from Rahul because his own story of bitter experiences in the past and the struggle to fight his inner demons is so surreal, yet inspiring that it can easily be mistaken for a motivational movie script – except his story is real. And it’s still being written. Rahul is truly healing people by preaching mental well-being, which is, in all its essence, a sacred mission. Let’s wish him all the luck for future endeavors!