R U OK? is an Australian not-for-profit suicide-prevention organization founded by Gavin Larkin in 2009.
I love this a-conversation-could-change-a-life initiative as I love its US counterpart of Hi, How Are You? Day.
Today, in the States, Hi, How Are You? Day reminds us to show genuine concern for “how people really are.”
Because “How are you?” is too often a mere rhetorical question rather than an expression of a legitimate desire to know, being willing to ask the deeply sincere version and really listen (rather than talk) can be a life-saver for those who struggle with suicide ideation.
Not being too busy or too frightened to take such an initiative is the critical point.
I hope many will find “we are ear” for them today.
At the beginning of 2018, I decided I was sick and tired of hearing myself complain about my weight (which I had been doing for many years). I made a plan: try Weight Watchers or hypnosis. I had tried everything else. Counting calories since I was 18 years old, I thought I knew everything about weight loss.
I reluctantly enrolled in a WW program that would pay me back if I lost 10 lbs. in two months. That was not a resolution, it was a challenge. And, I wanted to win it.
To my surprise, it was fun and rewarding. I didn’t have to starve myself. I learned new tricks and new habits, got my money back, and started 2019 at my lowest weight since High School! Who knew I loved winning more than I loved wine?
We constantly explain others’ behavior by making up stories about who they are and why they do what they do. Its much easier to think people are just plain idiots or jerks rather than people with scars, such as ourselves, who make mistakes or who are just trying to get by with limited courage, insight, or character-development.
I am not advocating naivete or letting others take advantage of us, but. since we are all making up stories anyway, why shouldn’t we try out the good ones before the bad ones?
I certainly appreciate that kind of mercy when I am a character in the story.
I challenge you to try. Let’s see how much less angst, anger, and frustration we can have just by starting with mercy in 2019.
(Modified original post from 2013)
Remember Pearl Harbor.
Remember those entombed in the sunken ships who were never rescued.
Remember to care about those who “are tapping” today all around the world, waiting for rescue.
Remember to use your gifts to alleviate suffering…wherever it is.
Remember that we are all in this together, looking for hope.
Don’t wait ’til someone dies
To say of them something nice
To give them appreciation
Versus the ubiquitous smirk or shrug
(All could use a little love)
Don’t wait ’til people die
To appreciate their unique lives
And what they have done best
Instead of judging all the many things
They were not…as very human beings
I wasn’t a big George H. W. Bush fan while he was president. I probably should have appreciated his character more and criticized a bit (or a lot) less.
When the holidays make you irritable, angry, or sad…
Especially when you are down.
Especially when you don’t have anything to do or anywhere to go.
Especially when you want to be critical of others being stingy or greedy.
Especially when no one is giving to you.
Especially when you are alone.
Especially when you don’t believe anymore.
Especially when you think you have nothing to give.
There is someone out there, right now, who needs you.
Give without expecting anything in return. Give without judging if someone is worthy of your gift. Give your smile. Give your time. Give your generous thoughts. Give kindness.
When we are overtaken by inexplicable tragedy, radical change, or unexpected news, life shrinks to only that which is serious and imperative.
The only way to avoid total disillusionment and complete debilitation is to be wide-awake to the serious and imperative before we are forced there by circumstances.
How to do that without sinking into depression and joyless living is the secret.
This has worked for me:
- Priority time to center before I hand my life over to the day.
- Ongoing acceptance of my own fragility and the precarious nature of survival.
- Constant “neighbor identification” with those who suffer in war, natural disasters, loss, and disease.
- Gratitude for every life-breath to combat entitlement.
- Intentional rejection of the superficial as true sustenance.
Photo Courtesy of ABCNews-Go.com
I didn’t go to a public library until I was in high school and read only a few books before graduating. Now, I am (thankfully) making up for lost time, but only realized recently how much I owed to comic books.
They were the door, not only to my entertainment as a lonely child, but to my curiosity, imagination, love of words, and creative inclinations.
Who can say what impact our talents have on others? Thank you, Stan Lee, for using your gifts…and for the reminder to value my own (even when they seem insignificant).
No one wants to hear us whimper about it.
Breathe in strength
Breathe out resolve
Smile at the future
And get back to work
Reclaim your birthright and bring your authentic, unique self to bear upon the world.
Reclaim your birthright of power vs. powerlessness.
If you woke up today, you have power! And that power isn’t complaining and pronouncing your poor-little-ole-me victimhood.
Rise to your full stature and your purpose (even if you don’t fully know what that is yet).
Your purpose certainly isn’t focusing your blame, angst, or dissatisfaction upon politicians, bosses, family, or whomever else may have disappointed you.
Today is a day to…
- grow past childlike behaviors and take charge of you
- be the hero the world is waiting for
Reclaim. Don’t Complain.