Monday, December 26, 2011

Each One Teach One

This morning, I received an email from a family member of Colton Wilson, a recent suicide victim.  In it, she thanked me profusely for caring and for sharing her brother's and her family's story with everyone.  It touched me like no other email I've ever received.  Young Colton's funeral is coming up Wednesday at 1:00pm.  I will play a song for him that day, for sure.  And, I'll undoubtedly shed a tear for a boy I never knew.

Reading that email made me understand that this blog is really making a difference in its own little way.  If I'm touching someone's life, that's what it's all about.  If I'm helping to save a life, that's REALLY what it's all about!!  Inspired by the suicide death of Jamie Hubley, I've set out on a mission that will not end until I take my last breath.  And, that mission is to make a difference somewhere in this world and to start doing my part, small as it may be, to try to prevent some young person from committing suicide.  It's a daunting task, I've since learned.

Writing about it isn't hardly enough.  I tried that before, writing about it in some of my songs.  Not enough people were listening.  Fair enough.  Then, in October, I read about Jamie in Ottawa, and my life changed forever.  I knew then that I had to get deeper involved.  And, I have.  This blog is being read by over 100 people daily, with more readers coming in almost daily.  Easily, this blog has more of an audience than my music ever had, and I write good music!

So, now, the mission is to take this to the next level.  Writing about it is good.  People are connecting.  People are relating.  And, people are healing.  But, how do we go about making a serious change in our social landscape?  How do we begin to turn the tide so that teen suicide, be they gay, straight, or Martian, becomes a thing of the past?  The answer, to me at least, is a very obvious one:  the #1 place to start is a total re-education of our society as a whole.  That's a monumental task!  People are set in their ways.  People, including and maybe especially the young, live the way they're taught.  So, how do you climb that big mountain?  One step at a time.  That's the approach we need to take.

So, here's the challenge:  each one (who reads this) teach one.  This is a two-parter, actually.  First step, be kind to someone you don't know.  Show compassion and understanding to someone you don't know.  Everyday.  You never know how your kindness will affect someone.  That one person may be having the worst day of his/her life.  You could prevent something tragic from happening.  If nothing else, you'll put a smile on their face.  How can that be wrong?  The second part to the challenge is equally important:  teach ONE PERSON to do what you're doing.  BOTH parts!  That's called paying it forward.  If we can get that ball rolling, imagine the effect it will have in just a month's time!  If you need added motivation to get started on the challenge, I'll provide you with a few:

  • Jamey Rodemeyer
  • Jamie Hubley
  • Jasmine McClain
  • Cameron DeVeronica
  • Colton Wilson
  • Ashlynn Connor
  • Mason Carter
  • Jacob Rogers
All of these names are from teenagers who committed suicide just since September!!!!  And, there are many more.  Do I really need to go on?  Enough really is enough.  Let's start making a difference.