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Opinion

Thoughts About Acts of Kindness and Care

The other day I read the posting of the man that died from suicide. I am not sure why this story touched me in a way that I could not mentally let it go. It was not the first time I heard someone had killed themselves.

In my over 20 years of being a Nurse Practitioner I have had patients confide in me that life is getting too hard. There is nothing harder for me than to hear the sadness that several of my patients have experienced.

People can be surrounded by many and yet feel completely alone. We all have our own struggles that we face on a daily basis. Just because we do not share them with everyone we meet, these struggles are still there.

I think this tragic story made me realize that we live in a society where we pass judgement on others without understanding what occurred in the past and what is happening in their lives now. I include myself among this group. I had to try and to learn that no matter what my patient told me, I needed to keep an open mind in order to understand them better.

Our children and grandchildren have a more difficult time growing up in this society. When I was a child, my parents knew everyone living on our block. Now, people may feel it is better to stay locked in their own world so that they do not have to get involved.

I recently talked with two children who are self-inflicting, and even though their families may know this, their families have made the decision to ignore it. To the adults, it is a phase that these adolescents will out grow. Maybe they will or maybe they won’t. But, it touched me that they felt they could share this with me.

If a child has been abused by someone that is suppose to love and to protect them, how can they process such failure to care logically in their own minds? I don’t know. I myself am a Survivor of family abuse. At a early age, there were many times that I felt I could have taken my life.

Notice I said Survivor not Victim. How I am here today, I am still trying to figure it out. I believe God guided me into a profession that would allow me to try to help others.

I have been judged by many who do not know anything about me. We, and I include myself once again, need to open our eyes, our ears, our hearts and our minds to each of us who carry unspoken burdens.

I will never do everything right, and that is something I want my patients to know. I can and will make mistakes in my lifetime. I am trying to instill this understanding in my 12 years old grandson.

At this young age, he has endured more trauma and pain than most do in a lifetime. I hope that he learns from his mistakes and that he is truly sorry and apologizes to whom he has hurt or failed. Likewise, I hope that he is able to accept sincere apologizes from those who have failed him. I believe that these are the most important lessons I can help him to learn.

So, today I’m reflecting on why that man that took his own life. He must have felt all alone and that he could not reach out to anyone. This is not to judge anyone who knew him. This is to show that we all have our demons. However, we don’t have to face them alone.

This past year has brought to the world's attention the cruelty we all live with. Be kind, be understanding, be forgiving, reach a hand out to those who feel alone.

In consideration of these thoughts and reflections on my own conduct, I shall attempt to learn and to try whatever I can to help better this world for my children and grandchildren.

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