by Natalie De Mola
“Hi! How are you?” has become a cliche and has lost its importance concerning others. We say it in passing as we are rushing to a destination and expect the response to be “I’m fine, thank you.” But what if the response is something other than “I’m fine.” Would we be prepared to stop what we are doing to talk to that person?
What if the response was “I’m not doing too well today. In fact, I feel like killing myself.” What would you do then? Would you drop what you are doing, or would you just say, “I’m sorry to hear that. I’ll be praying for you” and continue on with your day?
I know this entire hypothetical dialog may sound unreal, but it happens. The spirit of suicide can come over anyone and oppress him or her. Some of us go through life and are caught up with ourselves without even realizing it. We forget the power that each one of us has to make a difference in this world.
We do not talk about suicide openly because it is not everyday conversation. Sometimes people do not feel comfortable, because when they do speak out, their loved ones or peers will tell them that they are weak or just seeking attention. Well, I’ve got some news for you: They are. They are crying out for help with a problem that they just cannot see past.
Suicide can be crippling, a feeling that takes over and does not allow you to see past today or the potential you have in you. When it happens, you lose all hope and think that the momentary problem is eternal.
The spirit of suicide can come over anyone and oppress him or her.
As I write, I speak from experience to the feelings that have come over me. I came into prison as a juvenile lifer, and at one point in my life I felt like there was no hope or reason to live. I was carrying the guilt of my past and had tormenting thoughts that told me to give up and end my life. Some of you may think I am crazy, but the enemy is the father of lies and will torment us with lies and deception.
I was thankful to have a strong support network and so many people that loved me and saw the calling that I had in my life. You see, the enemy only sees the seed that is planted and comes to pull it out of us. But God sees the full-grown tree and our future.
Suicide can be crippling, a feeling that takes over and does not allow you to see past today or the potential you have in you.
When you ask someone, “How are you?” mean it. And be prepared to take some time out of your schedule if they are not doing well. We need to put back meaning to the words that we speak. Make your “How are you?” moments an opportunity to save someone’s life and encourage them.
I recently read a story of a high school boy who cleaned out his locker on a Friday and was bringing all his belongings and books home. Some guys knocked his things over and tripped him. His glasses went flying and he was searching for them on the floor.
A boy who was a football player witnessed it and came to help him with his things and glasses. It turned out they lived by each other, and the football player asked if he wanted to hang out and they did all weekend. On Monday morning, he brought all his books back.
They both became best friends, and the boy who cleaned out his locker became valedictorian when they graduated. At the graduation, he made a speech and said that he was planning to kill himself that Friday when he carried his books home so that his mother would not have to clean out his locker. But because a person who he never knew until that day was kind to him, it changed his life without anyone even knowing what he was feeling.
One smile, word or act of kindness could change the outcome of someone’s life. In life, we will encounter hardships and defeats, but we will eventually snatch victory from defeat. When we do, it will build character and show us that we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for.
One smile, word or act of kindness could change the outcome of someone’s life.
With that strength, it will be enough to propel us to face our issues and heal from our past – then give that strength to others to help them heal themselves. “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived. But if faced with courage, it need not be lived again.” – Maya Angelou
Send our sister some love and light: Natalie De Mola, X-12907, 509-29-3U, P.O. Box 1508, Chowchilla, CA 93610.