Do you believe that every life has value?
An unborn child? A homeless person? How about a drug user? And what about a prison inmate doing time for murder?
I believe everyone’s life is valuable. I leave it to God to determine the path of each and every soul on this planet. If we’re breathing, then I believe there’s a purpose for us to be here.
I had the unfortunate (or fortunate, depending on how you look at it) discussion yesterday with a friend about his/her contemplation of suicide. This was unchartered territory for me. I didn’t feel like I could dismiss the feeling and statements that were being conveyed. I was truly concerned about my friend and said and did what I could to convey my love and hope for his/her future.
I think it’s easy to place people in boxes. To categorize them. To label them. I fear that many folks label others with suicidal thoughts as crazy.
Let’s not put people in boxes. Let’s not categorize them. Let’s not label them.
My friend is not crazy. My friend is intelligent, and caring, and fun, and interesting. Placing him/her in a box to separate him/her from the rest of us is not acceptable.
The contemplation of suicide because hit anyone at anytime under the right circumstances. I contemplated it once. After at least seven years of fighting dizziness and vertigo—and shelling out thousands of dollars to listen to doctors tell me, one right after the other, that there was nothing wrong with me—I have to admit I was ready to go. That was my Hell. I felt I had done my time. I had suffered enough.
Long story short I’m still here. I got through it. I believe my friend will too, with support and care from friends and loved ones, and even strangers who so selflessly volunteer their time to counsel those contemplating ending their lives.
Let’s have compassion for others. We don’t know their stories. We can’t possibly walk in their shoes. I think we can make a bigger impact in this world with compassion than we can with anything else.
Be open to what comes.