Because of the rising number of suicides in this country, it’s been suggested that everyone make an effort to text, email, or phone at least one someone and ask them the question – ‘Are You Okay?’
There are a lot of people out there to whom you would never need to ask this question, mind you. They will make sure that everyone knows exactly how they are feeling at any given moment of every day. But there are also a lot of people who tend to keep it all inside. They don’t feel comfortable opening up and sharing. And it is usually those people who end up being completely overwhelmed by their problems.
We are all so busy. The days scoot by with alarming speed and all those things we really meant to do just stay undone. We think – I must call so-and-so. I must email; I must pop around to visit. And then we find out that our friend, our family member, our neighbour has been going through some dreadful ordeal and we feel all guilty because we should have been there for them, but we were too busy with our own affairs.
Not everyone is going to appreciate an R U O K? text/email/ phone call. If fact you might just get some very suspicious reactions – ‘What the heck do you want?’ But this is not something you do for your own gratification. It is meant to be a way of reaching out – of offering a life raft to someone who might be in danger of sinking.
Now I think R U O K? is a great idea. But, at the same time, I hope it will not just be a ‘one-of’, where we all rush around calling or texting everyone we can think of and then forgetting about them for the rest of the year. I really hope this concept of ‘keeping an eye out for each other’ can become part of our everyday lives.
©Lyn Murphy 2011