The Suicide rates are the highest they’ve been since WWII. This is a statistic that should be alarming to every one of us. It was to me when I heard it. I’ve advocated for Suicide Prevention and Awareness for a long time. In 2018, 1.5 million people attempted suicide.
Sunday mornings, I make it a habit to watch CBS Sunday Morning. There was a piece on there this Sunday, 1/19/2020, that really hit me. In the 1960s there was a study done on patients that had attempted suicide. The study discovered that a simple intervention, showing that you CARE, can prevent suicide. The suicide rates of people being released from psychiatric care in this study dropped by 50%, because of a simple act of compassion.
If you would like to see this segment, you can find it HERE. The piece is about 8 minutes long and can explain this remarkable study much better than I can.
I’ve written several posts about getting help if you need it for depression, suicide prevention, mental illness, etc., but I had not thought about the other side of the coin. What if we Reach Out and SHOW someone that we care today? Can it really make a difference?
It turns out that yes, it can.
I had an experience on Saturday, that really hit me as an unusual act by a stranger. I was at the gas pump filling my tank. It’s cold, the wind is blowing, but the sun is shining for the first time in days. I think everyone wanted to get out and soak up some of that sunshine. While I was pumping my gas, a woman pulled her car along side mine at the next pump over. She got out of her car and with a big smile on her face gave me a very cheerful “Good morning!” I instantly smiled! We exchanged a few words about the sunshine and the cold. But that whole experience left me smiling for the remainder of the day.
Why? Because a stranger took a few seconds and showed some compassion and kindness. Then on Sunday, I saw the piece about the suicide rates. These two instances, I believe, was God’s way of saying to me, “Penny, you need to take action. Pay attention to this!”
Why on earth was that woman that greeted me at the gas pump’s kindness so unusual to me?? THAT’S the real question here.
We get so tied up in our own lives, our own head, that we can’t see the world around us anymore. A few words or a smile might make all the difference in someone’s life. HERE is that link again. Please watch it. I think it will change your prospective on how you look at those around you.
Sometime back, I pledged to do One Kind Thing every day. For the most part, I’ve stuck with that. But I challenge myself and you, to do more. I challenge us to Reach Out to someone today, and tomorrow, and the next day. Let’s give that other person a reason to smile.
Copyright (C) 2019 Penny Wilson
Thank you for joining me on this journey. ❤ Penny
Image by John Hain from Pixabay