I often wonder, why do we wait until things fall apart to act? Lately, this thought consumes me as more people of all ages are choosing to leave life behind.
Consider job loss in a world where we define ourselves by what we do; not who we are. Losing a job leads to not being able to pay bills, but it also causes feelings of worthlessness and being trapped. We’re familiar with these stories, but we often avoid discussing them. And so many feel defeated by the long, hard struggle to stay alive.
Why do we react more to a heartbreaking photo of a 34-year-old man, jobless, struggling to provide for his family, and on the brink of suicide, than to the reality of his situation? How do 3,400 likes, 510 comments and 220 comments help his kids after the fact? Imagine if we had a healthy support system that could recognize his skills and help him find work, and also restore his sense of self-worth. That’s what truly matters in life.
He, like many others, especially men, keep the struggles to himself. Nobody knew the depth of his pain. This man reached a point where he told his children Santa Claus wouldn’t visit that year. In his suicide note, he wrote his absence would better their lives.
Now, he’s gone. Why do we wait until things fall apart? Are we here to observe and comment, or are we here as creators?
How can we become a caring, kind and open society where we can talk openly about anything, and especially have people willing to walk the path with us? How do we create a world where people want to stay?
Think about the possibility of a robust support system. One that recognizes his skills, helps him find work and rebuilds his self-esteem. That’s what truly matters in life.
Imagine a world where people feel valued and hopeful. Rather than dreaming about what we want, we could focus on creating what we need.
Yes, it’s challenging. Our world is competitive and doesn’t teach us these skills. But if we did know how to truly co-create, would we be as divided as we are now? How much more are we willing to spend on persistent problems? Why do we fall apart?
Perhaps it’s time we each step up. We could become the supportive, health-focused people and society the world needs. Maybe then, fewer people would feel the need to escape from this life. Surely we all want to assist anyone in despair. After all, isn’t our opportunity to create a meaningful and healthy life?
True leadership comes from within us, and our power is too important to give away to those who don’t care about our wellbeing. Is it time to choose to be active participants in life, especially since no one is coming to save us? Because we begin to truly take care of ourselves and each other.
These times were made for us. We’ve spent years learning and experimenting. Now’s the time to stop making excuses and consider what we truly can create when we draw outside the lines of conformity. Can we be honest about what’s working and what’s not?
Do we have the courage to speak openly without causing harm and no longer pretending that everything is ok? And sometimes, we fall apart so we can make space for creation.
Ever since I lost someone close to me because they lost their job after spending years finding it, I’ve committed to helping us understand that there is only life. And we can choose not to define our lives by what we do for a living. I want to live in a world where we realize how powerful we are by choosing ourselves and creating healthy ways to lift each other up. Maybe we can start by asking kids what they love to create; what they’re curious about.
We have not had our freedom taken away. Maybe we have given our power away, which is why we’re here now to step into our power as creators—whether a healthy life, supportive systems or loving community. There is a healthy path calling each of us to trek into the unknown and be real and raw.