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Suicide Is Never The Answer: A Reaction To Amanda Todd

Amanda Todd holding up a paper that says "Nobody Likes You"
(YouTube)

I have seen far too many of these videos.  The ones where people take their feelings and write them out on cards.  They’re called “Notecard Confessional” videos.  They sometimes tell stories just one sentence at a time.  More often than not, the stories do not end happily.

I just saw another one of these videos today.  In the video, the girl tells a story of the incredible bullying that she was enduring.  She made a mistake with a webcam that followed her throughout her life.  She changed schools, she said she was sorry, but nothing was good enough.  The kids around her would not let it go.

Last week, she took her own life.  Today, I cried for that girl…a girl that I never even met.  I cried because that girl was somebody’s daughter.  Chances are, that girl was somebody’s friend.  Who knows…maybe that girl was going to be somebody’s mother.

For what?

Why did she feel that there was no other answer?  Why wasn’t someone there to catch her as she fell?  As I sat there watching the video I realized that I was getting upset because I know what that family is going through.  You see, I had a best friend who also took his own life.  It’s devastating.

My message is to a couple different people.  First it’s to the good people…make yourselves known.  If you see someone who might be struggling, offer a hand.  You don’t know what people are going through.  Don’t stand by and watch while someone else is struggling in their life.  You never know when you might need someone to help pick you up. Believe it or not, sometimes offering to help someone or just standing by can be the difference between life and death.

Parents, get involved in and pay attention to your kids’ lives.  Listen to them when they talk and give them a foundation that will help them handle it when the world comes down on them.   Don’t be afraid to tell them that you love them and that they mean the world to you.  If your child is getting picked on in school, they need to know that they’re important.  Never let them ask the question, “Why am I even alive?”  Love them so that they always feel self worth.

Finally, to those of you who are going through a rough time.  Heck, maybe you’ve never seen good times at all.  You don’t know why the world has to be so cruel.  The truth is, I don’t know why either.  I don’t know why people have to treat each other the way they do.  What I do know is that there ARE good people out there.  Did you ever think that YOU might be one of the good ones?  Maybe you will help someone else one day.  Maybe the person that you need to be by your side is waiting on you to lend a hand to them.  Don’t make a decision that cannot be undone.

I’ve always said that I am not above begging if it is for a good cause.  I cannot think of a better cause than to help save a life.  I beg you to talk to someone.  Put down the cards.  Get off of YouTube and talk to someone.  Talk to someone who will listen.  Get someone who will help you.  Don’t stop trying until you find someone.

If you think that taking your own life will teach the bullies a lesson, you’re wrong.  They will deny that it’s their fault and they will eventually get on with their lives.  However you will leave some people behind.  You’ll leave people like me behind…people who truly do care about human life.  You leave people who wish they could have helped you if you would have only given them a chance.  You leave moms and dads.  You leave sisters and brothers.  You leave best friends who will never be the same.   I miss my friend and will never get him back.

Don’t let the bullies win.  Don’t let them tell you what to do.  Don’t let them make you feel like you’re worth less than you are.  Treat others better than you’d like to be treated.  Be kind to each other and help bring these tragic stories to an end.

 

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