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.