by Kevin Hines
When you find yourself walking by someone who you do not know, I recommend that you look right into their eyes, turn the corners of your mouth from ear to ear and just smile. They may think you are about to hit on them but you know the truth. You are simply extending the common courtesy of of the-not-so-distant past, a time when a major city’s population wasn’t even close to the numbers we have today. A time when neighbors knew each other and greeted one another accordingly. You should try this old tactic in your every day life you might be surprised at the outcome.
It has been said that an unexpected smile can change a persons entire day. In this digital age we have become so introverted and self-centered. I look around and see a world where anyone with a twitter account can become a faux-celebrity. It seems we have forgotten how to make real eye contact and even how to interact with those who we are familiar with.
Have we become so callus that we have forgotten the golden rule? Is this the age when we neglect our brothers and sisters because we no longer believe we are their keepers? Have we all become strangers to one another?
Life is too short to go through it only minding your personal matters. We have been placed on this planet for a true purpose. We are here for a reason and updating social media sites– however enjoyable and entertaining– is not that purpose.
Did you realize that a simple smile could bring someone back from the brink? Years ago a man who was intent on dying by suicide off of the Golden Gate Bridge wrote in his suicide note…
“If one person smiles at me [on the Golden Gate Bridge] I will not jump, I will smile at everyone I see.”
He leapt to his death, becoming a statistic. If only someone had smiled at him, a life would have been saved.
I bring this up so you can see that sometimes a simple gesture like smiling can make a difference. I too jumped off of the Golden Gate Bridge in an to attempt to take my life. That day, I too made an inner pact with myself, that if anyone saw me in obvious emotional or mental pain and said to me, “Are you OK? Is something wrong? Or Can I help you?” I would have told them everything. Like the man who only wanted someone to smile at him, I would have pleaded for help and I would not have jumped.
Anyone can save a life. Sure, it make take guts, a huge heart, and an powerful sense of empathy.But, you have that power: if only you choose to smile.
As a society we forget how much simple kind gestures mean to those suffering and how far a heart-warming smile can go. We can be so destructive with our words and actions, not thinking about how these things can truly destroy a person.
It is time we rise up and give back on a daily basis. We do not have to give back in monumental ways, with simple acts of kindness. So next time you walk by someone who looks directly at you, fear not my friends, turn and just smile! Who knows? You could very well be saving a life.
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September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
So, I will write and share a post every day during the month of September containing important facts, statistics and educational information about suicide and suicide prevention. The name of my campaign is called…
Remember in September.
Prevent suicide yesterday.
Today, may be too late.
Don’t let there be anymore “what if” or “if I only” yesterday statements.
Make your today never become a yesterday you will regret.
Save lives. Talk about it. Don’t wait. Get help. Don’t let yesterday become too late.
If you have any stories or information about suicide prevention you would like me to share on my blog, please let me know. I would love to share any information you have. Thank you in advance for your contributions.
Together we can do this. It takes a village…
and this wonderfully beautiful blogging community…
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