I really wasn’t sure what to title this post. As a writer, I typically have a lot of vocabulary at my disposal, but my heart was hurting so badly that I really had to do some soul-searching to find the right words.
I am not immune to the ‘news’ of the day, and one of the most troubling is the level of suffering I see in the reports and broadcasts, bulletins and breaking headlines. I am anti-suffering. I admit, I have a great big heart and don’t enjoy pain. I am both sympathetic and empathetic. When I watch, in horror, someone or something experiencing pain, I am in favor of relieving it in a responsible way.
That isn’t to say I take it on myself, but…well, keep reading.
I posted this on Facebook and it sets the tone for the rest of my statement:
The best advice I can offer to young people of this age – in light of what keeps happening – is this: if you are that upset, that angry, that hurt — don’t go to school today. You have the ability to get up and move and think. You are not helpless or hopeless. If you can put a bullet in a gun, you can pick up a phone and make a call. Don’t hurt other people because you hurt. Dare to be different by getting help. It isn’t weak to decide you would rather cry than make someone else do so. You can make a difference, and it doesn’t have to involve violence to be noticed. There are millions of us that would love to have an opportunity to listen and get to know you if you allowed us to. Help us to remember the real you, help you overcome the pain you feel, not remember the pain you caused. If we are HERE, now, that means we’ve been around long enough to be able to honestly say, we have experienced life and know how hard it can be but found a way to survive. You can do it too.
I am like many people, but also unique. I have endured life. I put it that way for several reasons. Life is complex. Human life is so complex that at any given moment, so many neurons are firing at once that we barely understand the tip of the iceberg, let alone what hides beneath the surface. We, as a species, face tragedy and glory, pain and happiness, success and failure. We perceive reality in prisms. In my own life, I have experienced a lot of happiness and joy, but I have been through some truly hellish experiences. I am not going to sugarcoat things by saying life is easy. It isn’t.
One thing I have learned is that life is worth every single nano-second when you find a way to make it your own.
In other words, if you’re reading this and think you are alone…it’s only because you can’t see me. It wasn’t some big particle beam zipping through space exploding against gas and matter in a vacuum that made these words appear. I am tangible. And you are, as well.
You may feel isolated and alienated. I have. You may think that, given your circumstances, only you could possibly feel the way you feel right now. I can honestly tell you, that isn’t accurate. Equipped in every human being – whether you say it is from God or a higher power or just the great unknown science project – is the ability to make choices, to feel, to think, to express. Life is a journey of possibilities, probabilities and a whole lot of chance.
I have never had children of my own, but I have worked with many. Hey, I used to be a kid once, too. Not biologically having given birth, some may feel I am disqualified from being able to objectively understand being a parent or mentor. I understand that viewpoint. But being human makes me just as qualified as another person to reach out and speak up about the tragedy we face in society across the globe.
I sit here writing this wishing I could reach just one young person today who is hurting, questioning or looking for answers. Not to give a response. To let them know someone understands. To let them know they are not alone, they are not abandoned and that there absolutely is hope. There is both darkness and light in this world and finding your way may be right in front of you and you might not see it. I would love to help you find it.
I have heard it said, “We don’t make it out of this world alive.” I can tell you, we don’t exit it alone, either. We’re connected, whether we see it or feel it or realize it. We touch each other in ways we can hardly imagine. We may never physically meet, but could influence each other so strongly that we would appear to others to have been known intimately.
Today could be the best day you’ve ever experienced. Are you willing to take a chance to find out? Will you throw away an opportunity to have that? To know it is possible? Not only could today be your best day, but the best millions upon millions of people share. If the lottery was winning a fantastic day and you heard you won, would you shape it into something wonderful?
I am just a voice, but if you can hear it I hope you listen.
You are not alone.
You can choose how this day is defined.
You can succeed.
You don’t have to hurt others to be heard or recognized.
You don’t have to stand on the corner of becoming a statistic and finding a way to push through.
You have the ability to shape your world and the world around you.
If you need someone to talk to, call:
1 (800) 273-8255
I am rooting for you to find happiness and peace. Us underdogs have to stick together and in this world, we are all underdogs.