So I decided to randomly browse the Yahoo Answers page to see what questions people like to ask on a daily basis. While I was on the site I came across a post from a teenage girl who was talking about wanting to die because she doesn’t like who she is physically. She wanted to know what to do. My immediate response was to write something nice about finding something beautiful about her to ride out the hard times.
After my post was submitted at least a dozen others appeared, many of which were nothing like my post and altogether horrifying to read. The responses given to this girl were cruel, unsympathetic, and cold. As I read through them I couldn’t believe the utter lack of compassion that these people had. It was if they were raised to believe that suicidal thoughts are a weakness and those who have them should be purged from the earth.
As someone who has had some pretty dark days I was appalled by some of the things that these people said to her. Here we have a young girl who already believes that nobody loves her and that her physical appearance determines her worth and the value of her life. Throw in some unkind words and we have a recipe for disaster; instead of erring on the side of caution in case her threats are based in fact, we have a group of people who are more or less encouraging her to give up and kill herself. It’s like taking this girl’s hand and guiding the blade across her skin or giving her that extra step toward the end of the ledge.
We’re all human beings and in my mind every day is a battle for each and every one of us; we’re fighting any number of internal demons in addition to the ones we face in the outside world. A great number of us are bruised, broken, and on the mend. This girl, whether she is looking for attention or not, is making some serious claims about ending her life. She shouldn’t be met with hostility or cruelty, but with love and compassion as each and every one of us would want if we were in the same place. To think that so many people would respond so harshly says a great deal about the direction that this world is heading in and the type of people that many of us have become.
Imagine responding like these people had or even not saying anything at all. Imagine this girl ending her life because you didn’t realize that words have power. Imagine your part in all of this because you either chose to not act or chose to act in a malicious way. We need to start thinking about how we affect the lives of those around us in even the smallest of ways. We need to start thinking about what it means to be human and to experience reciprocal compassion. We need to start thinking about how our words could make all the difference.
So today I challenge you to say something nice to someone; anything really. Just be heartful and kind. For all you know those words could be that person’s saving grace.
Until next time…stay classy.
– C.M. Berry