Yesterday I came across an article that stated that famous radio host Delilah’s 18-year-old son recently committed suicide. I felt horrible thinking of what Delilah must be going through — a mother’s worst nightmare. I also thought about the number of suicides I’ve heard of just within this year. Like mass shootings it seems like suicides are also on the rise. Otherwise we’re just hearing about them more.
After reading the headline and some of the article I thought to myself, “Am I just going to feel bad and go on with the rest of my life?” This is also how I feel about mass shootings. We’ve become so immune to these incidences. What can we do to change them? I believe these are little wake-up calls for our society as a whole.
I felt compelled to discuss suicide because to be honest at one time in my life and I’m sure at one or more times in all of our lives we have asked ourselves whether this life was worth it, and wouldn’t it be so much easier to simply end it all. Thankfully I found a way out of those thoughts, but many people, like Delilah’s son and many others don’t. So, is there anything we could have done for these people or do for others who might currently be struggling in their own lives?
Be Kind and Care
I’m no suicide prevention expert but I think that the least we can do for others no matter who they are is to be kind and to care. You never know what kind of impact you can have on another human being’s life.
I asked a pre-school teacher I know once what drove her to become a teacher. She said that coming from a broken home she was often sad and confused as a child, but her teachers never really asked her how she was feeling. She felt that by becoming a teacher she could be that person for another child who may be going through what she went through.
I was amazed at her answer. I completely agree with the impact teachers can have because I had the complete opposite experience. I had so many teachers that for whatever reason took interest in me, encouraged me to participate in activities I would have otherwise not have participated in and who helped me become the person I am today. I know that these teachers were probably just doing what they thought were right out of the goodness of their hearts, but their actions had an effect on my entire life.
Do the right thing. Be kind. Care without thinking about how it might benefit you. Whether you are a mother, father, daughter, son, aunt, cousin, uncle, teacher, police officer, retail employee, waitress or office worker. You never know how your small gestures and actions might change the course of someone’s life.
Live Like Life is Precious
The greatest thing we can do as a society is to value human life, and that begins by valuing our own lives. We place such high value on money — making it, saving it and treating it like it is king. However, when it comes to our actual lives, most of us constantly complain — something is always wrong, if only we had this or that, and we’ll never be happy.
Others, especially children, learn from and feed off of the actions of others. Surround yourself with a group of negative people and you are more likely to become negative. Surround yourself with positive people and you’ll likely see your life change. When death occurs we hold our family close and are thankful that we’re still alive. But in time, we’re back to our old ways and taking life for granted again.
Imagine a world where one’s life is valued as much as most of society values money. When our eyes open in the morning we’re automatically grateful for another day. We make time — quality time — for those we love because we know that life is not guaranteed. We not only know this when something bad in the world happens, but we know this during times of peace and joy.
We all have struggles and they are part of life. However, let’s make it okay to share those struggles, work through them together, instead of trying to deal with them in our heads until we drive ourselves to a possibly tragic ending. Life is precious. Life is a gift. If you are a parent, holding a newborn for the first time, you automatically feel the love, the possibilities and the magic of life. Remember those feelings when your child is three, when she’s a teenager and when she’s an adult. Remember those feelings if your child is unfortunately no longer here anymore.
Value life and all that it has to offer because it is only when we truly know the value of our lives on a consistent basis that we can expect the rest of of the world to know theirs as well.