I want to be in bed right now sleeping soundly but as I try to lay there and sleep this blog keeps running through my head, so I have decide the universe it telling me it needs to be written. There was a very unfortunate death this past week of someone, who I did not know personally but knew of. Sadly this person took their own life at the age of 36. I have noticed more and more of these posts seem to be popping up on Facebook. Not only are the teens falling victim but it seems more and more adults are as well. I was shocked and saddened to hear the news. Shocked because this person seem to have a know a lot of people, and seem to have many friends. Sadden because this world lost a human life that can never be replaced, and to those who loved her, an ache that will never really go away.
It has made me stop and think, what is going on? I was chatting with another friend over the incident and we both seem to ask the same question, ultimately ending with the same answer. How can someone who seem to be doing so well, with so many friends, take their life and NO ONE know it was that bad?
Although I do not know the particulars in this case, and don’t claim to even begin to explain it, it made my friend and I both come to a realization. We are a society that cares more about how many friends we have on our Facebook friends list, then how many will actually show up at your door when we are on the floor in tears, wondering if and how we will ever find the strength to rise again. We are a society that would rather put our heads down and walk into our house, pretending we don’t see our neighbor, rather than wave and take two minutes to say hi, and how are you. We are a society that will watch a poor helpless animal, hurt, injured remained tied to a pole in the blazing sun without food or water, instead of going over there and rescuing it. We are a society that has become slaves to social media, texting and twitter. It is much easier to have a fight over text, where you can ignore, block, delete rather then sit in front of the person and actually DEAL with the conversation and the issues. We are a society that allows our children to be parented by our phones, the TV, a computer, video games, rather than us actually have to get off our asses and get involved in their lives. WE in essence have become, selfish, self-serving, impatient, and overwhelmed. We end up being the people who say if only I had called more, if only I had stopped by to see them, if only I had known, if only I had watched her more closely, if only I had room in my house to take that dog in, if only, if only, if only…. and yet the next day comes and we keep doing exactly what were before.
I took my step-daughter to the park the other day, ( she is my “daughter” so to speak from a previous relationship) and as I watched her play in the sand building a volcano I noticed just how content and happy she was at that very moment. When she told me she needed a stick to create the hole, I jumped up found her one, and helped her create that every exploding hole that would make her sand volcano complete. As we laughed and I looked up, I glanced around the entire park, which was extrememly busy due to the weather being so nice, and I noticed that almost every mother was on her cell phone. It was then that it just hit me. A park full of children and their parents and most of the parents where on their cell phones?! At the end of that thought a mother came running up behind me over to her friends carrying her son, saying “I found him, thank god.” Her friend replied, “Thank god I was just about to call 911. See I told you you shouldn’t be texting so much.” They somewhat laughed as she hugged her son tightly. Really?!!! You almost LOST your child because you were too busy on your phone. I am not saying I have not been victim to this myself, being consumed by the social media bug, it is in fact almost our way of life. What I do know is that I am trying to better about it. Although it has it’s benefits, it is also tearing us apart.
Kids get no breaks from bullying like they did in my day. Now it can happen in school, over text, on facebook, over twitter. It can go on all day and all night and if parents are not paying attention they don’t even know their child is struggling. How do we teach our kids, it gets better, and you can overcome this, when they look to us and what they see are adults, using drugs, drinking until they pass out, or worst yet deciding to end their life because it all was just to much. What is that showing or telling them if WE cannot handle it?
We need to stop preaching haters gonna hate, and yolo, and that if you wear your pants dragging, and live off the system, and have a few tats that your badass and you are cool. No one has haters, no one wants to be you, most “haters”, are dealing with insecurity issues themselves, or they are calling you out on your own wrong doings, that you yourself do not want to face. Yolo means to seize moments, to grow, to learn from your mistakes to be a better person than you were yesterday. We need to represent this and stop letting the media make yolo out to be a rappers delight. We need to start actually getting to know each other, TALK to each other, work out our differences in person or on the phone. We need to put down the computers, the iphones, ipads, and actually spend real time with one another. We need to take a sunny after noon and build a volcano with a 5 year old and realize in that moment, there is such a peace and love and happiness, that we can learn and take from.
I know we ALL have demons from our childhood we are all trying to overcome. We all want to be loved for exactly who we are and we all want to feel needed and accepted. Being gay, I have dealt with all of these things at some point and know them well and what it has taught me is that we need to be leading by example and we need to be teaching our children how to really love themselves first. How we do that is by showing them that we really love OURSELVES first. They imitate what they see their parents doing, they soak us in like a sponge, and they understand a lot more than we think they do. Then maybe as they grow into adults they won’t ever feel so desperate that they need to take their life to stop feeling the emptiness and pain. We are all worthy of love and acceptance and we all deserve it. Beauty should be defined by what we want it to be not what society puts in a magazine. We have the power to do better, we have the power to help each other and really change the way we are as human beings.
So as I end my Jerry Maguire tirade for the night, I am going to pose a question to you that was posed to me by my spiritual mama as she likes to call herself. I adore her and she is helping me in ways she doesn’t even realize and I am forever grateful. Ask yourself this: If you had all the money in the world, and if you knew that everyone would love and accept you for exactly who you are without question, what type of person would you be? How would you look? How would you dress? How would you carry yourself? How would you show up in this world? Sit with that and when you figure that out, be that person in this world. When you do that, you draw to you the love you think you deserve in amazing ways. We all need you, more than you may ever realize, because there is only one you, and you are amazing. You are loved and you are worthy.
That question has changed my life and I hope in some small way it changes yours. Don’t walk around anymore being a “If only” person… walk around and be you, be present and I promise you together we can change the world.