When I’m asked if I’ve seen the latest world news, 95% of the time my response will be…“No!” It’s not that I don’t care about current events, because I do (well at least the news that matters). It’s just the news is always so sad and depressing to me. A killing here. A disaster there. Craziness everywhere. I often wonder where all of the feel-good stories are.
But this week really rocked my world, and speaking honestly, the events of this week left me heartbroken. I received multiple texts informing me about the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.
From the outside looking in, they checked off all the boxes on the world’s definitions of success. She was an awesome designer and he was an amazing chef. Both were millionaires who needed nothing of material value. Big houses, fancy cars and surrounded by people all the time. The ability to travel this beautiful world at the drop of a dime. We call it living the good life and everything that people dream of, right?
Nope, because they had some type of void that those material things couldn’t fill.
I didn’t know them personally but their deaths were tragic and it made me question, “Why?” What could have been done to prevent this? How can we help prevent someone else, whether we know them personally or not, from doing this same thing?
Well for starters, we have to go back to practicing the golden rule. You know, the one that says treat others the way you want to be treated. Yeah, that one. You never know what someone’s going through – but love, kindness, and respect go a long way. Our words and actions could mean either life or death for someone. Choose wisely.
Secondly, we have to stop talking about people and start talking to people. Most people are willing to talk if they know we are actually listening to them. Stop listening to respond and start listening to understand.
And lastly, let’s start encouraging one another. Do you know how far that can go? A simple compliment can change the direction and mood of one’s day. It’s really the small things that make the biggest impact to others.
So this week I have two assignments for you. One, check on a “strong friend” who seems to have it all together. And two, go read the poem, “You Are Who You Are” by Russell Kelfer and share it with someone. Really let it sink in, because your life has meaning.
And if you’ve had thoughts of suicide, and don’t have a trusted loved one, counselor, or person to talk to – contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.