Naomi Osaka Prioritized Herself — And It Was The Right Choice

There are people who can’t fathom Naomi Osaka walking away from the French Open, but she chose herself and we can learn from that

Photo Credit: Rena Schild via Shutterstock

We haven’t come as far as we think we have in regards to the true scope of mental health and what it means for how we treat ourselves and how we respond to others.

In a time where we should be rallying behind Osaka, people would rather debate whether she was right or wrong for picking her mental health over tennis — at the end of mental health awareness month nonetheless — as if taking action is not something that should follow self-awareness.

So I ask the question. Are you mad because Naomi Osaka put herself first or are you mad because you haven’t done so yourself yet and you’re projecting from your own place of insecurity?

This is where we as a society have to put our feet down on the gas and change. Mental health issues can’t just be subjective and relevant to us. When we talk about them or they come to light, our first reaction should be empathy. Empathy because when it’s our experience, only we fully know what ails us. Empathy because we know that someone else fully knows what ails them too. Empathy because we deserve to make the decisions best for us to get help proactively or during a crisis as human beings. Empathy because others deserve to make the decisions best for them to get help proactively or during a crisis…no matter their status and as human beings as well.

A writer and singer-songwriter centered around perspective and diversity. Words found on Medium’s Level and Marker. Follow me @JoshuaDairen on Twitter and IG.