Ever since the recent news broke about Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, my heart has been burdened with how this influences our society, especially the more vulnerable people. We have a lot of hurting people and sufferers of mental health issues. Our younger generation is more depressed and anxious than ever before. They are growing up with the news reports of injustice, tragedy and murder, just 1 swipe away or as they scroll their twitter feeds. They are seeing a whole lot more than some of us older generations. Then we have popular shows like 13 Reasons that get inside their heads and create dark and depressed thought patterns. There is way too much attention on suicide. I believe awareness and education is important, I’m simply concerned too much focus has crossed a line that causes preoccupation and harmful behaviors.
We need less media influence. The media has a tendency to focus on the negatives. They report stories of loss and sadness and can be graphic most often. They tend to spotlight stories and groups of people that are being mistreated or wronged in some way, stirring up drama and division. The media influences a more victim mentality and behaviors. We cannot control how they report or what they report, but we can choose to limit ourselves and our children from their constant doom and gloom. Take a break and turn it off. If you are on social media, you can control what you follow and how often you view their content. You can add more positive and inspirational pages. You can guard what you share and how you influence your followers. We need less negativity and victimization; wherever we can, we need to take responsibility and control it.
We need more compassion in our culture. I believe if people would shift from complaining as a victim to more compassion, it would have a larger impact and bring some healing to the people. We have a choice to either be the victim and be a part of the drama or be creators and influencers of change, building up people and societies. It just takes a mental shift and setting new intentions. We have to get out of ourselves and more focused on seeing people. Put down the devices that we are attached to and acknowledge the people we meet on the road, at the gym, store, or airport. It just takes a hello, nod, or a smile that says I see you and you are worthy of my time. We underestimate the power of nonverbal communication and eye contact. Your eyes can show compassion without saying a word. Listening is another way that expresses compassion. Everyone wants to be heard and understood and feel like they matter. They may have a history of being rejected or outcasted, maybe by mental illness or some other difference. Give them your time and attentiveness.
We have to control and organize what influences us and how much of an appetite we feed. There’s a children’s song that goes “be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear.” These lyrics are a good reminder for us. Be careful of the media and its influence in you and your family’s life. Be thoughtful of others and spread positivity, hope, and kindness to a world that needs it.
If you or anyone you know are in crisis or are thinking of suicide, please seek help now. The following organizations are available 24/7 to assist.
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 in the US.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Other articles you may be interested in:
- From Darkness to Light: A Journey from Mental Illness & Abuse to Finding My Voice by Nikki DuBose
- Hope Emerges from Recovery by Julie Jeter
- Adjusting Your Way to the New Normal by Lisa Lambert
- Surviving Suicide: Help and Hope by Julie Jeter