It seems like every day I read an article or hear a news story about someone taking the lives of other people, or even taking their own life. We hear similar stories day after day, and after a while we start to become desensitized. We ask the same questions to ourselves, and we look around for somewhere to point a finger.
We wonder how anyone could take the life of someone else. How were they raised, and why didn’t their parents teach them better? We ask. Why didn’t anyone recognize the signs? How were they allowed to get a hold of the weapons they used? How did anyone not see this, and why didn’t anyone stop them? What could have caused this person to go this far?
We wonder how anyone could take their own life. What drove this person so far beyond their breaking point that would make them do such a thing? Why are children taking their own lives when they are so young and have so much ahead of them? Why didn’t anyone recognize the signs? Why didn’t anyone bother to take the time and talk with them? After all, there must have been some evidence that this person was going to do such a thing. And I’m sure this person showed some signs of depression obvious enough that would explain why they did this.
We ask all these questions, but it is almost as if we are watching a movie and don’t have anything at stake in the situation, and once the movie is over we will go about our lives. We distance ourselves from these stories and convince ourselves that if we were somehow involved that we would have done something to stop this outcome. Meanwhile there are people all around us who could be calling out for help, but we don’t bother to find out or even pay attention.
We are wrapped up in our own lives and engrossed in our own activities that we don’t bother to look around. These people calling for help could be anyone, from a friend we haven’t heard from in a while who is suddenly calling for no apparent reason, to our children that we ignore because we are too busy with life to deal with anything so we stick them in front of a television or buy them the newest video game to keep them happy.
We look around and point fingers, and we ask “how” and “why”. All the while we have our backs turned and our blinders on so that we don’t have to inconvenience ourselves by getting involved in someone else’s life.
Let’s take the time to honestly and sincerely speak with someone about what is bothering them. Let’s spend the time with our children instead of taking the easy road. And let’s put in some effort. We see these things happen and we say that the signs must have been there, but honestly, unless you are looking you will miss them. Depression shows itself in many faces, as we have seen from recent events. Just because someone puts on a face in public doesn’t mean they are not hiding something deeper inside.