I was having a conversation with a friend on Facebook earlier and we were having a discussion about young, gay people feeling like they need to change who they are to the point it sometimes leads to suicide.
I can’t help thinking that all of us feel deep pain. We are living in a time when it’s become routine to be judgmental, critical and cruel to the people around us. I know all too well about suicide. In my 42 years, I have known 4 people who have taken their own life.
When is the last time you have gone out of your way to make someone feel special or good about them-self? Think long and hard and count up the times you have lifted someone’s spirits or just been plain hurtful. We know what words hurt, yet we use them anyway. How are we supposed to feel good about ourselves and excited about life when the negative words outweigh the positive, kind ones?
I think of common comments or generalizations that have hurt me over the years. Those words over time scar. We do not carry shields like super heroes that deflect harm. We consume harm and it eats us alive from the inside out. We feed our pain with fatty foods, we become hermits and choose to stay at home where we feel safe. We cut our own skin or develop compulsive traits that help us deal with the pain we cannot escape.
I don’t have any answers but I do have a suggestion. Just for today, go out of your way to build someone’s self esteem. Say something kind and watch what happens.Try it for a day, a week, a month. Imagine how we could change someone’s life by replacing critical, unkind digs with complimentary, kind words. What kind of world would we become? The amazing thing is, one by one, we can build that kind of world. It starts with you and it starts with me. I’m going to give it a try and hope you will join me on this new journey. Choose your words carefully, because the person on the receiving end may be taking them to heart.