Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kindness to Strangers

"There are no strangers here; only friends you haven't yet met."
~William Butler Yeats

Last night my 12 year old daughter quietly woke me up around midnight with the words: "Mom, I think someone is about to kill themselves."

I'm awake!!

Of course my first question was "who?"

"This boy on this Instagram fan site who cuts himself. Someone posted that he should cut deeper so he can't stop the bleeding."

Well shit.

First of all we obviously don't know "this boy" or anything about him except that he is a fan of something my daughter is and his user name. Second of all I would hope that one stupid comment from a dumb...no IDIOTIC person would not push him to such a rash end.

It was interesting that the notion of suicide came up at dinner earlier when for some reason my son said that it wasn't a choice. I replied that it most definitely was a choice. I explained that some people can feel so lost that they think it is the only choice, but that choice ends one person's pain and leaves a wake of sorrow.

We discussed the idea of no matter how bad things are they will always get better. It may not seem like it can, I've been in those dark times, but they amazingly do. And having been in those dark times I know how it feels like a solution-not a choice. But I can't say that to my son.

And yet kids text other kids that they should "just kill themselves," "cut deeper," "do us all a favor and die."

And we thought kids were cruel when we were young.

So here we are in the middle of the night with my daughter scared for a stranger. All I could say was that some kind words to that person can go a long way. So that is all she could do in her worried state.

And that is all any of us can do-be kind. Smile at a stranger, say hello, show support to those that struggle around us-either personally or in the ever exposing social media.

It's amazing how tiny an acknowledgement or smile of someone feeling like they are invisible or lost can change how they spend the rest of their day.

So all we can do is be kind.

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

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