formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
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Friday, June 8, 2012

Don't You Dare Jump

Facebook has this feature where it shows you comments your friends have made on their friends’ posts. I don’t know why they feel it’s necessary for you see what people are saying to each other (especially when you probably don’t even know the other person, and when it’s really none of your business), but they do.

Facebook has some boundary issues.

So, anyway, this morning, during my regular slog around, to have a look-see at what happened in Facebookland while I was asleepin’, I happened upon a post, put up by a friend of a friend, on which my friend had commented.

The original post was this:

“Sometimes I wonder... Maybe it would just be easier to blow my brains out, and be done with it... This slow, daily creep towards mortality is a real bore and pain in the ass.

This slow, daily creep towards mortality is a real bore and a pain in the ass.

In the few seconds that passed after I read the post, about ninety-eleven things flashed through my head…

I thought of how sad this person’s life must be… how focused on himself he must be… how he needs to find a hobby… how I’d love to know how to slow my life down to a ‘creep’…

… and I thought of how angry that statement made me.

Now, I don’t know this person, except what I’ve heard from my friend. I know very little about his life or his circumstances or what he’s been through. I’m not passing judgment.

Well, I don’t think I am.

I might be.

I’ll live with it.

But I got mad. I got mad because I’ve lost several friends in the past two years – friends who were my age and younger – too young to leave this world. Some of my favorite people on the planet have been battling debilitating and deadly illnesses, and have prayed for just a few extra years, months, weeks, days, hours of Life to spend with the people they love. I’ve seen people I care about lose children – the most horrific loss I can fathom – and then pull themselves together and do something amazing and productive and positive in their child’s name and memory.

These are and were people who wouldn’t think of Life as being a “bore” or a “pain in the ass.” These are and were people who know just how precious and amazing Life is. These are and were people who would trade lives with Mr. Bored (Boring?) in a split second.

Life is not perfect. Life is painful and rotten sometimes. And yes, at times it’s boring and a pain in the ass. But it is still to be valued. And you owe it to Life – and yourself – to make the most of it.

Do you remember the television program, Welcome Back, Kotter? Though I only recall most shows in bits and pieces, there is one episode that has stuck with me for 30+ years.

It was about a plain girl – a girl no one noticed – named Mary. She felt that life wasn’t worth living; that she had nothing to live for. So she climbed out onto a ledge, intending to jump; to end her painful and boring existence. All the Sweathogs tried to talk her down, but it was Arnold Horshack, the misfit of all misfits, who succeeded.

He asked her what she loved… and each time she thought of something, like the roller coaster at Coney Island, the beach, and books, he said, “Then don’t jump.”

Eventually, she realized she had more than enough reasons not to jump. And she climbed back inside the school.

I was just about 13 when I saw that show and I learned a lesson that day that has stuck with me.

Life is made worth living by finding things you love. By doing things you love. By caring for the people you love. And if you have anything – anything at all – in your life that you love, Life is worth living. Period.

I understand that there are people with serious problems or illnesses (mental and physical), who, for whatever reason, can’t see a way past them and take their own lives. I’ve known those people. My heart aches for those people. This post isn’t about them.

This post is about Mr. Bored, who wrote, “Sometimes I wonder... Maybe it would just be easier to blow my brains out, and be done with it... This slow, daily creep towards mortality is a real bore and pain in the ass,” and people like him; people who simply refuse to open the gift they’ve been given.

Open your eyes, Mr. Bored. Open your heart. Open your mind. Open yourself. Get off your bored ass and do something. Start living. That “slow, daily creep” is going to be over before you know it and you will, as will we all, wind up looking back at the life you created – the life you deserved. Make it something worth looking back at.

And don't you dare jump.


rosaria williams said...

I loved this!

Jenners said...

The temptation to find this post and paste your post into it is very high.

Cathy said...

Sounds like the kind of thing a teenager, early 20s person would say. Eventually that forehead slapping process takes place and people look back and think how could I've been so stoopid.

Which reminds me. They don't make TV shows like they used to. So far removed from reality it's not even funny anymore.

Bob Boisen said...

It's more like a fascinating roller coaster in "l survived THAT?"

hebba said...

Fantastic post...I often get irritated at things people post on Facebook, as well. Mostly because it seems like all these people do all day is sit around and try to appear far more hip and intelligent than they really are, mostly by posting cynical and caustic comments like that one. My guess....he has a boring job. And needs a life.

SueAnn Lommler said...

It is sad for sure...

Pauline said...

You're very precise and convincing when you're angry. It's impossible to get into anyone else's head (which is why judgement gets us nowhere productive) but it's possible to turn a light on in the dark to help someone out. It's one reason we have language - to turn that light on for someone else. Hope someone who needs to see it reads this post.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

Tell it, sister!

J Cosmo Newbery said...

I really hope someone close to that person challenges them - they may well be in a place where they can't see a reason not to jump. If this is a call for help, I hope someone answers.

Zuzana said...

Dear Diane, I of course share your opinion about this completely. I have always felt it is a privilege to be alive and it up to us to make our life worth living.
I also consider at times that people write things like this to went out their frustrations, as they do not know any other way. They can also be ill as well, just in a different way from physical illnesses, suffering from depressions and illness of the mind.
Have a great week dear friend,

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Introverted Art said...

so agree with you and FB thing... also, if a person makes comments on third party sites, their comments are available for everyone to see.

Heather said...

Finally making my way back into the world of fantastic blogs after a long hiatus, and just as I remembered, your posts never disappoint. I've learned that life is what we make of it. Yeah, sometimes you get dealt a bad hand, but you can always choose to face it with grace and inner strength. Thanks for the reminder :)

Sam_I_am said...

beautifully written! and I'm always concerned about people who put stuff like that on facebook. I mean, really.

Alyce said...

Sort of sympathise with whoever wrote that on Facebook, but I'm guess I'm still young enough to relate to that whole self-centred overdramatic mindset. Glad you're back in blogworld, cousin - I missed your pearls of wisdom :-)

Snowbrush said...

You're assuming the existence of free will, which I wouldn't consider self-evident. It could also be that "Mr. Bored" has a phobia--or a near phobia--of death, which could, in his eyes, make it desirable to end his life now rather than to go on living in fear. You seem to interpret him as a self-absorbed person whose wish for death dishonors those who want to live yet must die, and therefore makes him undeserving of understanding or compassion, yet in the right circumstances, can you not imagine that you might be in his shoes?

C Woods said...

Wonderful post. You have a wonderful way with words. And you make so much sense, too.

I hope the writer gets out of whatever depression he is in and wakes up to see what he's been missing. I doubt this guy is actually suffering. He probably has a roof over his head and food to eat. He isn't in a war zone or living without electricity or on the streets. Take a close look at what some people have to suffer through and stop complaining.

I don't ever remember when life was a bore for me. I am like Alex Trebek who said, that he is curious about everything, even things that don't interest him.

And as one gets older, time really does fly. The worst thing for me about retirement is that when one works, it takes forever to get from Monday to Friday. In retirement, it's January, and all of a sudden, it's September. Where did it go? I have friends who won't retire because they don't know what they would do with themselves. Hey, read a book. Get a hobby. Go for a walk, Volunteer. Take a class. Join the Peace Corps. Teach literacy. Help a neighbor. Volunteer to tutor at a school. Plant a garden. Join a Meetup group. Adopt a cat. Watch an old movie. Learn a language. Really, there is so much to do ---and much of it costs almost nothing ---no one should ever be bored with life. No one should have the luxury of so much wasted time.

(Sorry, your rant got me going.)

Introverted Art said...

Hope you ever come back :)