When people are experiencing so much darkness and can’t see any light, it’s like having blinders on; they’re only going to see what they want to see, and that’s usually more darkness. Many become victims and their pain becomes their identity. It’s important to give them words of hope and light. Someone once said, “Never take away a person’s hope because that may be all they have left.”
Many times when someone is going through “heavy-duty-life-doo,” they feel very alone, that no one loves them and/or cares, and at the extreme, that their loved ones would be better off without them. This is when people make that drastic decision of no return. It’s not that they want to die; they just want the pain to end. For whatever reasons, they weren’t able to reach out for help, or maybe they did but felt worse because of the kind of help they received.
We’re seeing this in many young people now in that many are committing suicide because their pain is so great and they don’t feel that things will ever change. It could be because of their horrendous home lives, traumatic life experiences, or being bullied, but most of all, because they are not feeling loved and accepted for who they are. It’s the same with many adults.
People need to know and feel that they are loved. Three of the shortest words in the English language, but three of the most difficult to say for so many, are the words "I love you.” You may think your loved ones know you love them, but they also need to hear it. Add to that, “I appreciate you. I'm proud of you. Because you're in my life, I'm so blessed." We need to say it to our children, parents, relatives, friends, and to everyone we love and care about. Hugs also go a long way and I love hugging people!
The world is changing and people are so busy in their own lives that they don't think about reaching out to others. We may think we have enough of our own problems so why bother with someone else's. But it is only when we do reach out to help others that we help ourselves.
If you know someone who is having a rough time, reach out to them! No need to say anything except “What can I do to help?” or “I’m here if you need me.” Call them. Send them a card. Take them a meal. Offer to babysit to give the parents a break. You would be surprised at how much the smallest acts of kindness can change someone’s life! In fact, lives have been saved because someone reached out to someone during their time of suffering and let them know that someone cares.
One of my favorite songs is “Reach Out and Touch” and I think the words are very appropriate here (paraphrased). “Reach out and touch, Somebody's hand, Make this world a better place, If you can. Take a little time out of your busy day, To give encouragement, To someone who's lost the way, Or would I be talking to a stone, If I asked you to share a problem that's not your own? We can change things if we start giving. If you see an old friend on the street, And he's down, Remember his shoes could fit your feet. Try a little kindness you'll see. It's something that comes very naturally. We can change things if we start giving.”
Let us reach out and touch someone so that we can help make this world a better place…because we can.
Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper March 7, 2014.