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Is in essence the
even suicidal depression.
Bet it surprises you.
"116k" 800x600 | "153k" 1024x768THE ULTIMATE UNTAPPED POWER
is gentle as a breeze, but is not wind;
is nourishing as rain, but is not water;
is warming as flames, but is not fire.
Wait. The ultimate "untapped power"
in our world.... is not wind, water or fire?
Kindness. Nothing much. Only kindness.
Tap it today. Don't wait. Tap it today.
~ Lollie Dot Com © 2000
Mouse over the poem to see the rest of the words.
[Most recent update 06.26.05] This may seem off track at first. But you'll understand before I'm done. Quoting from a Time magazine article that notes "Most people who died that day didn't have a chance." called "We Gotta Get Out" (subtitle: New data from 9/11 and other disasters reveal the odd reactions of people facing catastrophe,), page 58 Time 05.02.05:When the plane hit Elia Zedeno's building on 9/11, the effect was not subtle. From the 73rd floor of Tower 1, she heard a booming explosion and felt the building actually lurch to the south, as if it might topple. It had never done that before, even in 1993 when a bomb exploded in the basement, trapping her in an elevator. This time, Zedeņo grabbed her desk and held on, lifting her feet off the floor. Then she shouted, "What's happening?" You might expect that her next instinct was to flee. But she had the opposite reaction. "What I really wanted was for someone to scream back, 'Everything is O.K.! Don't worry. It's in your head.'"
She didn't know it at the time, but all around her, others were filled with the same reflexive incredulity. And the reaction was not unique to 9/11. Whether they're in shipwrecks, hurricanes, plane crashes or burning buildings, people in peril experience remarkably similar stages. And the first one--even in the face of clear and urgent danger--is almost always a period of intense disbelief.
Luckily, at least one of Zedeņo's colleagues responded differently. "The answer I got was another co-worker screaming, 'Get out of the building!'" she remembers now. Almost four years later, she still thinks about that command. "My question is, What would I have done if the person had said nothing?"
Now I'm no expert in those kinds of crisis situation, but I've been on both sides of the table with suicidal depression - and I can tell you it is a crisis when you get a call from school and they tell you your teenage daughter just ran crying out of the building saying she was going to kill herself and she took off before they were able to stop her. I was talking to a friend when her sister came running up terrified because that's the phone call she'd just received. Her panicked question was, "What do I do? What do I do?! I don't know where to look, I don't know what to say when I find her. What do I do??"
What would you do? Do you know? If a friend, a family member or a coworker started teetering on the verge of suicide, do you know what to say and do to hold them here? What if everyone knew? According to the article in Time, and if logic follows than it might very well make an incredible impact on our suicide statistics around the world.
Almost three thousand people died that terrible day, 9.11.01 and did you know:
- In America, suicide took the lives of 30,622 people in 2001 (CDC 2004).
- In 2002, 132,353 individuals were hospitalized following suicide attempts; 116,639 were treated in emergency departments and released (CDC 2004).
Finally I come back around full circle to the page I've been writing and rewriting here for years, as the article suggests -- the better prepared we are for a crisis, the more likely we are to come out of it unscathed. I know what prevents suicides. I've had the weakest treatment and the top of the line. And anyone, even a seventh grader can learn it and apply it whenever it might be needed.
Think kindness isn't all that great a power? Consider the influence of some people in history who grasped the power of kindness: Mother Teresa, Walt Disney, Martin Luther King Jr., Ghandi, Raoul Wallenberg, the Dalai Lama..... Jesus.
Perhaps you think kindness is just nice and sweet and kind? Consider the fact that every "suicide prevented story" in the Chicken Soup books is prevented with kindness.... often just a small act of kindness. That's power. It's an incredible power that can and does prevent suicides every day. It can't prevent every suicide, nothing can do that. But it can prevent about 85% of the ones we're failing to prevent right now. Doubt it? The proof is in those suicide prevented stories in every "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book. (said only with the authority of one to whom kindness was administered after years of supposedly real treatment that didn't help.) That's why I'm so convinced it is in essence the Heimlich Maneuver for depression, especially suicidal depression. I had thirty years of every other kind of treatment to compare it to. That's why it stood out so clearly.
Chances are, if you'll remember back, every time you've ever been pulled back from a brink of despair, someone's kindness was what did it. Think about it. If that's not power, what is?
Have you clicked on the word kindness yet? Click on it now to find out what it means in concrete terms, in a simple recipe anyone can follow. See for yourself how to do what is in essence the Heimlich Maneuver for depression, especially suicidal depression. I've spent 8 years working to bring you here to this page to click on this word to get a glimpse of kindness. You never know when you'll really need to know what to do in a pinch. Click on it now for your future's sake.
Okay fine.... kindness, it's a power. So what? There's a lot of power going around this world. So kindness is no big deal. Right? Wrong. Unlike most power, kindness is a free and limitless power. It's free to everyone. It's free no matter your color, gender, sexual or religious preferences, age, education, financial situation, whatever... it's free to us all. You can exercise your power of kindness as much as you like, as often as you like.
I've found the most important information almost everyone needs and almost no one has: The Power of Kindness (which is essentially the Heimlich Maneuver for depression) and also the fact that negative emotions like depression, anger, anxiety, and loneliness are gifts to be used rather than arbitrary punishments we just have to suffer or control. Now all we've gotta do is put this information in the right hands. Who's hands? Everyone's. Just like the Heimlich Maneuver to stop choking, everyone needs to know this for it to be worth a damn.
What's a damn worth? Since 1961 when Dr. Heimlich first introduced his maneuver to the world, so far it's saved over 50,000 lives. It's prevented over 50,000 funerals. It's prevented the UNnecessary trauma of over 50,000 families and friends. So a damn is worth quite a bit. Especially when it's one of your own. I've used Dr. Heimlich's Maneuver on my daughter Christie two times. She's still with us. She wouldn't be if Dr. Heimlich hadn't worked his tail off making sure everyone knew about it. With tears I say, "Thank God for him and every single person that helped him." Thank you for helping me keep Christie. She's 31 now, sharp, hilarious, kind, generous. My grandson is 12. He's going to be a hugely popular stand-up comedian someday. Wait and see. He wouldn't even have been born if it weren't for the people that spread Dr. Heimlich's Maneuver. That's the power of spreading things that actually work to save lives.
I've said this before and I'll say it again. I'm not determined that everyone will begin to use their power of kindness daily or utilize their negative emotions rather than just suffer, manage and try to control them. But I am determined that everyone will hear the concepts. They'll know they have the options. That's why I speak to you directly and say sincerely, please share this. There's no telling who it'll save or who will use it to save someone. But it works when you share it. And it doesn't when you don't.
"The mind, once stretched by an empowering idea,
can never fully shrink to its original dimensions."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, paraphrased
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