Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Give the World One More Chance

Once I had a conversation about suicide with my father. I think I was in high school. I was trying to figure out then what I'm trying to figure out now: why would someone do that? At the end of the conversation my father, who normally ends conversations with lots of humor, became serious. My father made me promise to him that if I ever felt the need to take my own life, then I had to first shoot myself in the foot, and after my foot healed if I still reached the same conclusion, then I could go ahead and take my own life.

I can remember thinking it was weird that he really wanted me to promise such a foolish thing. I wasn't going to kill myself, but I agreed to his request. "Yes, dad, I promise to shoot myself in the foot first, and after my foot heals if I want I can shoot myself for real."

Today I see the wisdom in my father's logic, and I appreciate my father's advice more today than when it was first given.

The truth is that we all have our own inner demons. Life includes some painful, heart breaking very low moments. We've all been tired, sad, and lonely. Everyone's pain is the same; we've all suffered loss and disappointment. What my father was really telling me is to not exit earth when you're at a low point- if you're thinking about killing yourself it must be at a low point- and he knew that a bullet in the foot would sound an alarm and give your friends and family one more chance to pull you up out of the hole.

If you're ever at the lowest of low points and you're ready to quit life, then just give the world one more chance to remind you that low points cannot last forever and happiness is just down the road.

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