I was in shock yesterday as I browsed the news on Yahoo only to discover that Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose Driven Life” experienced a tragedy. His son, Matthew Warren suffered from depression his entire life and committed suicide this past weekend. Instantly I wondered, “How does something like this happen?” In theory I get it, but it disturbed me that something of this magnitude could happen to someone who has helped countless lives through his book, “The Purpose Driven Life.” This is a reminder that anything can happen to anyone. We are not above tragedy, as it sees neither social status nor financial status. Tragedy will strike at any moment and wreak havoc on anyone. This is a sad reality that I feel many of us attempt to escape in the superfluous happenings of our every day lives. Truth is instead of escaping and feeling as though we are above the chaos we need to train ourselves to be more aware. We should be more sensitive to our surroundings.
Matthew Warren’s son battled depression and suicidal thoughts for the better part of his life and it took a toll on him. His parents sought the best professional help that they could and still his life ended in suicide. My sadness revolved around the fact that despite all the help, all of the positivity that surrounded Matthew he was still living in darkness. The saddest thing to me was how Rick, his wife, and son spent a great Friday night together yet despite this something else was brewing in the mind of their dear son. These thoughts led to his death and I am compelled to share with the world how vital it is that we be sensitive to those around us.
I have believed ever since a childhood friend of mine committed suicide in high school that we should take the time to leave people with good words. Kind words should be left behind when we walk away from others, as we never know what state of mind an individual is in. Those last words could literally be the difference between life and death for someone. The craziest thing is that it could be the life of someone you barely know or it could be someone near and dear to you. When I stood in the kitchen of my best friends home in 2005 and received a phone call that a friend had taken his life by way of a gun my mind began to race. I did not even know that he was in such a dark place. I had no clue, no warning sign that he needed help. All I could think was, “What was the last thing I said to him? How come I did not see it? Why didn’t I ask if he was okay?”
Take the time to leave soothing words with people. Whether it is the cashier that screwed up your order or a spouse who has angered you. There is no tool that can let you know the thoughts that they are having in that moment and those words could be the tipping point for them.
There are things that I have lived by that lately I have gotten away from that I need to adhere to like cement.
1) NEVER go to bed mad.
2) Do NOT say hurtful things out of emotion.
3) Think before you speak.
4) Forgive, Forgive, and FORGIVE.
5) Don’t wait to apologize.
6) Make amends to those you have hurt and with those who have hurt you. Tomorrow is not promised, neither is your next breath.
7) Love without fear.
8) Give mercy, as you would desire someone to do for you.
9) Cherish the time you have with people because you never know. When they go they are gone forever.
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Lee, Gracie. Rick Warren’s Son Dies: Matthew Warren’s Death Sparks Outpouring of Prayers From Christians, Leaders. The Christian Post, April 2013. Web, 8 April 2013.