It’s been a few days since I lost a dear friend, a junior from school, a vibrant guy (on the exterior), a smart student in school in all aspects – Studies, sports and anything he does. Above all – a really kind, nice, humble, HUMAN guy who’d be there for anyone at anytime they need. Extremely helpful. He really was human! A couple of years back, I lost a friend from college who was well placed and doing well in his career and again, a nice guy. Both cases – Suicide, Depression.

There was a time when I was insensitive towards individuals who used to commit suicide, thinking that they must have been senseless to do so. Sorry! And then you’d witness the usual talk after a suicide, where some say, “who knows what drove him to this extent” (the no. of people who say this is very less), while others say,”he was stupid, he has no right to do so, you’ve no rights to take away your life which you dint create etc etc.”Frankly, I’m with the one’s who wonder what drove him/her to this extent. Either ways, doesn’t matter. The person is gone as we speak. Why is that the talk lasts only a few days and nothing really is done after that to help others? In whatever little way possible.

The reason of this post is to reiterate certain belief systems that I’ve learnt and seen that has always worked, atleast most of the times. I was always told by my parents and some elders in the family – “If you’ve any problems, we are around and always remember, the first step you take is talk to us about it.” This is something I’ve been telling most people. I don’t assure results or solutions but something I’ve noticed with many people is that, the very minute you confide in someone and vent out your problems, frustrations, whatever it is, you not only feel lighter, you might be in a position to think better for yourself & you would definitely not take drastic, impulsive decisions. Also, a possibility could be, the person listening to you might be able to think of a solution. Worst case, they’d consult professional help. But, it’d be worth it.

Raising the most important part of this issue – If an individual is ready to confide in a friend or anyone they’re comfortable with, how many are genuinely ready to listen? Even if they are, then to what extent? We live in a very self-centered world, where most people think that their problems are far more bigger and important than the other person’s. What we need to acknowledge is, everyone has their own problems and challenges. As bystanders, what we could do is – If we can’t empathize or be of help then don’t comment – we’re not helping in any way. And sometimes when a friend is venting out, we’d say “Hey, these are such small things, you know when I had this bla bla bla”. How is this helping? Rule 1 – Be ready to listen to someone who is going through a tough phase. You might be saving a life. Rule 2 – When someone is letting out, all they want you to do is just listen. Do not say anything, they really aren’t in the mood to receive any “life philosophy”. Finish listening to them and trust me, they’d listen to most of what you say once they’re done.

The problem is – Many don’t want to listen to someone’s problems beyond a point because of which most are shy to even talk about it. Here’s a request –

  • If a friend or anyone wants to talk to you, confide in you, please be kind and lend your ears to them. For those who are already doing it, please encourage more people to do so. We might be saving a life.
  • If you’re having issues of any kind, always remember – you’ve your family to confide in or you might have some close friend too. Never bottle up emotions, problems and most importantly, never shy away from expressing yourselves. Being expressive is good and not a sign of weakness.

We may not be able to save everyone, but atleast a few. Try? I’m no expert in this but only thinking out aloud and sharing my thoughts. If you’ve better suggestions, please share your thoughts. We could form a human chain to just save souls.

 

By: Vaishnav Ramesh

1 COMMENT

  1. If anyone is ever in need of a volunteer project, please consider setting up a listening center, with some telephones and some open hearted intelligent people ready to listen. They should have knowledge of psychology and current events and mostly they should be the kind of people who would always be willing to listen and help anyone who was in trouble, off the phone or on. It would make a great difference in the life of the caller, to know someone really cares without attitudes of judgment or bias or contempt. In the world we have, people feel good or bad depending on their personal successes in life, the kind they themselves feel make a difference. And if they feel they are not measuring up to their own demands for themselves, they might wonder is their life worth the trouble of living it. And they don’t always have any family or friends they can turn to, at least in the USA this is a huge problem. A hotline might be the only place they can go to talk to someone who cares. In the USA there are such hotlines but most of them are not really that helpful, for all the reasons people feel cut-off in the first place. The problem of loneliness and futility is terrible and it is growing. So if anyone sees this please seriously consider setting up a QUALITY hotline project and recruit “listeners” who know how to show love and concern to strangers as well as friends. The rewards could be incalculable.