I've just finished watching the Netflix series "13 reasons why". What a powerful and moving series. I know it's fiction and that there is a lot of attention around not wanting our kids to watch it - and I totally see why. But at the same time it's good to see issues like bullying and suicide being brought to people's attention.
This type of thing happens in schools all over the world, just look at how many assaults, brawls and social media attacks occur daily. It's such a sad world we live in.
While we do have opportunities for people to talk and open up, it's just as easy to simply be nice to each other don't you think? As I write this I am in a really dark place. Nothing too out of the ordinary but I am definitely at a low point. At the same time I don't want anyone around, nor do I want to open up and talk about my feelings.
So what do I do? I cave inwards.
As someone who has dealt with depression for years now, this is fairly normal. Solitude is a form of security for me and is the first place I turn. So how can anyone help me (or anyone else) in this type of situation. In short my answer is, I don't know. When people reach out to help me, I push them away. So how, like in Hannah's situation, is anyone able to get close or get in?
In 13 reasons why, there was a series of events that unfolded which led to Hannah's suicide. This scenario is familiar to us all I'm sure - whether yourself or a friend has gone through something so bad, that just continues to unravel like a ball of wool. But then the wool ends. Once the wool ends there is a choice to be made.
I have personally triumphed through challenges and I've seen those close to me come out on top too. Where the challenge was so great that the only solution was to become amazing, like a butterfly emerging from it's cocoon. It's possible. but not easy.
There are ways that you can make a difference to people's lives whether you mean to or not. Practice these 2 things daily - you just might be the person that makes a positive difference in someone else's life.
Smile - It doesn't cost you anything to smile at each other. Smile when you receive your coffee in the morning, when you say good morning to your work colleagues, even when you greet the bus driver. You might be feeling so low some days that a stranger's smile may make a great difference in your life. Share your smile with the world and watch how it makes a positive difference in your own life too.
Be nice in every encounter with anyone - I remember once I was having a really really bad week. Everything that could go wrong did, and I found that nothing positive was coming my way. There was a point where I felt hopeless and worthless - nothing to live for. One morning that week when I was travelling to work, the bus driver said "Hope you have a great day" in a really jolly, "happy uncle" kind of way. I know he probably said that to everyone but for one second I felt that he was talking directly to me. To my surprise it made me smile and created positive energy that I needed in my day. That small gesture from a complete stranger turned my mood around that day. Never underestimate the power of your words - even to people you don't know.
Remember it doesn't cost anything or expend much energy to smile and generally be nice. You might be the reason someones frown is turned upside down.