This morning I was saddened by the news of a teenage boy committing suicide. I didn’t know him personally, but I have young cousins who are the same age as him. Hearing this news filled me with worry, concern and many unanswered questions. The most poignant question I keep asking myself is what could we do as a society to make a difference in the lives of our future?
Every study that I have read suggests that happiness levels increasing in people who feel that they belong to a particular group of people and by extension society. Perhaps we need to evaluate our society and how we treat the people in it, especially with the increasing number of teenage suicides. I think we need to start placing emphasis on looking out for each other and caring for one another. I know I sound like a broken record, but I think the root of many of our problems in society is that we spend more time competing with each other when we should be supporting each other. We need to make people feel safe and accepted. They won’t feel that way if we are constantly looking to beat them in every area of life. I truly believe that if we create a safe community for people and let them know that they are loved and cared for, that people will feel it is okay to turn to another individual to ask for help.
My biggest fear in life is that I could have potentially saved a life by listening, being supporting and missing that opportunity to do so because I was too busy trying to beat them. I am not sure if this fear steams from losing my own friend at the age of 11 to suicide. But one thing I do know is that we need to stop judging and competing with people. The competitive makeup of our society is leading us down a path of isolation and depression. The way to change this is by cooperating with each other and being supportive.
Lesson Of the Day: Treat everyone with the utmost kindness and respect. We don’t know what they’re thinking or the life they are leading. If someone needs to speak, listen without judgment.