Today we all took a moment, a moment to reflect, a moment to wonder, a moment to try and understand what it means when life gets too much.
It is not the first time it has happened but it never gets easier, for this morning, someone jumped into the path of a train.
The talk, the comments on Facebook and Twitter started almost immediately – how selfish! How unthoughtful! How self-centred! How he could not have cared about anyone but himself! But the saddest was hearing ‘he could have chosen a different way of doing it’.
And why? Because it held up the train service! Because there were witnesses! Because the thought was not that this was a person, but that person had caused an inconvenience. An inconvenience in an otherwise ordered life. And yes for those who saw, that sadness, that horror will live with them for life.
Because today, so many lives were changed.
I shed a tear and my heart broke once more, but this time for the sadness that, for some, when life gets too much they cannot fight back. That desperation and despair can cause someone to decide that the world is a better place without them.
And maybe if someone had noticed, if someone had used their time and their heart to listen, maybe just maybe….. And maybe it is possible that a simple act of kindness, a simple smile, a simple acknowledgement of a persons life through a simple hello could have stopped the incident that happened, here in our town, this morning.
Maybe it’s not as simple as that, maybe that act of kindness would not have prevented the ending of this life. Maybe the decision had already been reached and turning back would not have been an option.
But somewhere, tonight, someone is asking themselves could they have stopped the sadness? Could they have listened harder? Could they have read between the lines? Did they miss the signs? That person too, deserves a smile, an acknowledgement, someone to listen with their heart. That person deserves an act of kindness not words of judgment about their loved one.
And tomorrow? Tomorrow we will carry on with our lives, tomorrow there will be a new drama, a new judgment, a new story. But tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to show someone a moment of kindness, a smile, a hello, an acknowledgement that they are a person. And that opportunity could change a life.