It’s about 3 in the morning and I’m writing from work so you will have to forgive me if there are some grammatical errors.
I recently got a job working at the local mental hospital and lately I have been working a lot of nights. This night stood out in particular because I saw my first potential suicide patient since I have been here. This person was so depressed that they decided that they didn’t want to eat because they had no other means of killing them self. When the person was asked what their goal was the person responded with “my goal is 100% to end my life”. Unfortunately it appeared like this person was succeeding in that goal. The individual had not eaten in over 13 days and parts of their body had been fused due to the extreme malnutrition. We had to call an ambulance because this person was literally hours away from death.
I was assigned to watch over the patient that night and I realized I might be the last guy this guy actually has a conversation with before the end of his life. I tried to help the person as much as I could. I tried to make what seemed to probably be this person’s final hours as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. I hope I succeeded in doing so.
The ambulance eventually came and took him away, and the whole encounter left me wondering; what would it take to cause a person to be so sad that dying was the only way to escape their grief? From talking to the person it sounded like their was an extreme sense of loneliness and a lack of hope. It had almost sounded like that this person had just been in a string of unpleasant events which eventually led to a sense of hopelessness in the world and with life. I wonder though, could just one sign of friendliness and compassion save this person’s life? For me even if I was the person to give that, the deed had already been done; the person’s body was literally shutting down by consuming itself. But had someone been there earlier on, this person might have lived.
I want to challenge all of you to go out and do something kind for a complete stranger. Ideally do something every time you are given the chance because you never know, your actions might be the ones that save another’s life. That homeless man on the corner for example, try to put yourself in his shoes. You may not know his circumstances but imagine how hard it would be to have to sleep out in the cold and always be hungry. It would be easy to go and buy two burgers at McD rather than just one for yourself. Or even just a smile and a friendly hello can make someone’s day. I will stop rambling but here is a verse which I’m sure you all have heard but it is one of my favorites.
“Therefore, all things whatsoever that you wish that men would do to you, do so also to them. For this is the law and the prophets.” – Matthew 7:12