Saturday, December 5, 2015

No Longer a Bystander




Occasionally, on Twitter and Instagram, I'll see a post that alerts me--a melancholy caption or a tweet that screams "I'm lost". Or I'll notice somebody is acting differently than they they normally do. A little alarm goes off in my head that says this person needs help.

But oftentimes I'll just ignore it. I'll let that alarm beep on, until it slowly fades as I resume my daily activities. I'll choose to believe that the person is actually fine. Or that I don't know them well enough, so I'd make things weird by attempting to talk to them.

And that person may be fine. They could just be having a rough day, as we all do.

Or it could be a cry for help. Their signal that they need somebody to talk to.

Suicide has been on my mind lately. Recently, a member of an organization I'm very passionate about, OASC, made the decision to take his own life. While I can't say I knew him personally, or had even met him before, it still broke my heart to hear. A life lost way too early.

It's not always obvious that a person is suffering and experiencing pain, that's why it's so important to be cognizant of what's going on around you. If you see any signs that a person may be depressed or suicidal, it's imperative to attempt to help them. Or put them in contact with somebody who can.


I don't want to be a bystander anymore. From now on, if I see something wrong, I'm going to step in. If I think somebody needs help, I'm going to talk to them.

Whatever the case, I vow to reach out to that person. To acknowledge their good qualities. To let them know that they can make it through the school day. To just remind them that somebody cares.

I encourage you to do the same.

And remember,
You're not annoying for checking on a person.
You're not weird for wanting to help.
You're not nosy for asking about their life.
You just care.