This is such a touchy and sad topic. Those who actually commit or attempt suicide usually feel there is no other way out of a desperate situation. Financial and personal relationships are the top reasons people commit suicide. After a financial crisis there are often people who take their lives when they see no way out after losing everything. In Hong Kong, a man jumped to his death after losing 850, 000 while gambling on a cruise ship. In Niagara Falls, it’s reported many people jump to their death after losing big at the local Casinos.
Personal relationships can also be a strong source of despair. People feel a great deal of loss when going through a break-up, divorce, death of a loved one or rejection. The human spirit has a need for social acceptance and when an individual is outcast, ridiculed and singled out they can be left alone to deal with their thoughts.
I bring this topic up today because it’s a serious issue that we see around us all the time. It actually came up in conversation when I was at church last week having breakfast with some of the volunteers. It’s an issue that most people at one time have thought about but it’s usually a fleeting thought in times of hopelessness. The difference between just thinking about it and doing it can be attributed to mental disorders (although that’s not always the case). As people, we become what we think about. When you are going through emotional distress daily it is very possible to see no escape. When the thoughts begin to loop like a broken record then can become so powerful that the person acts on something they normally would not do.
Young people today are dealing with so many pressures that thoughts of suicide seem to be more common. While I was on a public speaking tour this spring, I met a young girl who said she didn’t want to be alive. She bravely spoke about how others in the school told her she should go back to Cuba, where she came from. The other students would tease and make fun of her because she was different than the rest of the students. Her feeling of loneliness and desperation made her feel this way. Even with the turmoil she experienced, she was very brave to open up and say this, particularly because it was in front of a large group….the entire school of girls. Very brave. I saw this as a cry for help. As hurtful as it was to hear her speak those words, it was encouraging knowing she had said it because now the teachers, counselors, and others who heard it can reach out to her before the pain spirals out of control.
The National Safety Council has listed suicide as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the number one leading cause of death in people under age 35.
This is a serious issue that is completely preventable. I believe that the words we use can affect others. When it comes to suicidal feelings related to personal relationships we have the power to help those in need.
Helping others to recognize they are beautiful inside and out is the key to unlocking the purest happiness and love that’s hidden deep inside the pain. When we complement others and recognize the beauty in who they are these are just small steps in building up their confidence, desires and feelings of love and acceptance. Particularly for young people. When you see someone sitting alone at lunch why not be the person to sit beside them and let that person feel welcome. All it takes are small little steps to make a big difference.
I don’t proclaim to be an expert on this issue by any means. I do know the feeling of hopelessness and despair and as human beings usually all we want is for someone to reach out and show us we are there and that we matter. For anyone who has faith in God have the courage to know that you matter because you were created by God for a higher purpose.
If there is one common thread in the human race it’s the desire to feel worthy. To feel worthy of being here and worthy of deserving the best. Let’s help each other one step at a time.