Listening with the Third Ear
– Quratulain Dawood
“At least I’m not suicidal.” is the response we hear from people who have their chips low and we try to lecture them on how hopelessness can wreck things. And they’re actually right. Most of us, when we go through a phase of depression don’t even think of such extreme measures. It’s relatively rare in our society that we hear of suicides and when hear of it, we chant “Astaghfirrullah” and “Oh Am Gee, he did very wrong to his family” and all sort of religious reminders about the forbiddance of this act.
Suicide is by far the face of extreme consequences brought about by morbid situations. The word puts forward a flash of things that could have been wrong with this person and which is why he decided to put an end to his life. We always discuss about how he did wrong to his parents and loved ones, how slashing his wrists wasn’t the bravest thing to do, how he could have lived a cheerful life had he just asked for help. Wait, what? Ask for help? Are you sure it’s THAT easy? Do you actually think the guy would leave his beloved bed-throw and his favorite PlayStation games and end up suiciding if he actually had someone to get help from or if he could talk it out? Of course not. He had people like us around him. He had people who would judge him to be a whinger if he told them something at work isn’t great or if he has issues in dealing with people. We would just end up telling him to stop acting immature and get his stuff sorted.
Oops. Did our titanic just hit a reality glacier? Lets face it, we are not great at hearing people out and supporting them. But we need to be. The problem is, we don’t realize how we could be of help to someone who is going through something so majorly wrong. We aren’t sure if the puzzled acquaintance we observe on the desk next to ours is actually under a phase or just having a bad day. Let us break this to you: Asking won’t ruin things. Sometimes all a person needs is to be heard out. A lot of pals won’t open up to you at first but they’ll probably feel better if someone asked them. People die every day, every moment and with every breath they take. They die when they’re told they’re not beautiful enough or smart enough or simply not good enough. They lose hope in themselves, which is the beginning of suicide in itself. You have an impact, make it count. Your support can be the utmost leverage, your smile can brighten up someone’s day, your words can change someone’s life. Someone might have a better day after you smile and say hello. Someone might have a better week if they could just let it out to you on lunch breaks. Someone might have a happier month just because they get a call from you every weekend. Someone might have an amazing year just because you paid them a visit. You mean so much.
Your words, your kindness can heal many bruised hearts. You might not be able to stop thousands of them from taking pills or hanging themselves, but the least you can do is to cheer up a person you see sad at school or to smile at random strangers who look disturbed to you or just listen to what someone has to say. Practice saying: ‘I’m here for you’ when you see people in distress, instead of jumping to judgments. Remember, kindness can never hurt anyone.