(Guest blog post by Bryan Rivas)
I believe that no matter how busy my day gets, I should always make time for people. No, I don’t mean just socializing, but helping people with their problems.
One night, I was surprised to hear a knock at my door past midnight. I was just finishing up a stack of homework. Not only was I brain-dead, but I was also physically exhausted and needed to sleep.
“Who is it and what do you want?” I grumpily exclaimed towards the door.
“It’s me. I kinda just need to talk,” the dull voice answered.
What does this kid want? I asked myself, It better not be more help with homework—no one is that stupid.
I opened the door and immediately he came in, locked the door behind him, sat on my couch, lost all composure and wept with a bitter and profuse sorrow.
“I hate myself.” he murmured while trying to clear his throat.
I was at a loss for words. This had never happened to me, nor did I think it ever would. Not knowing what else to say I asked, “Why?”
He went on to tell me about the rough time he was having at school, and how he felt like he didn’t fit in; about how girls liked playing with his feelings and later making him feel stupid. It all wouldn’t have been so bad if he had at least a few good friends that had his back, but he didn’t.
Things back home didn’t help him out much either. No amount of money that his parents spend on him could ever replace them being there for you.
“Is there anything I can do to help?” I asked after his venting was over.
“I just need someone to care.”
Is that it? I thought to myself. Can he be fixed that easily? Not knowing if I would be any help I said,
That was all he needed. I gave him a big hug and then he sat on my couch and talked to me some more. At the end of it all, he let me know that earlier, he had been contemplating all his thoughts alone while all the showers were running. Thinking of what he could do to himself with his knife that would end it all quick, and without too much of a mess. This scared me deeply. I hugged him again.
I know I don’t prevent a suicide every time I listen to someone or help someone out, but I do know that as a human, I have needs that require the help of other people. For this reason, I feel compelled to engage with others in order to help them, even if I am inexperienced with certain situations or afraid of what may happen.
This may involve complicated favors that inconvenience me.