“One good breath deserves another,” the young man said as spoke into the microphone shaking nervously.
I couldn’t help but feel admiration for him. How does one stand up and make such a bold statement at the heals of your best friend ending his own life? Yet he spoke as eloquently as he could despite his pain. Little did he know that those words would echo in my mind for days to come.
I recently made a decision. The decision is a bold response to an epidemic that is robbing this world of one person every 40 seconds. In the United States alone there are more than 129 suicide attempts each day*. Out of those who attempt suicide, men are 3.54 times more likely to succeed in their attempt. In fact, the rate is highest in middle-aged white men.
Although the statistics grieve me, I am not surprised by them. Society, as a whole, doesn’t provide much of a space for men to express their emotions freely. It is difficult to find places where men can share their struggles openly without being looked down upon. Many times, an expression of feelings is considered to be a sign of weakness and defeat.
Honestly, I’m tired. I’m tired of seeing men giving up. I’m tired of losing loved ones to darkness when there is so much light to be had. So, I’m changing things up a bit… In 2020, I’ll be creating a conversation that will empower men to build resilience in the face of adversity. I’m starting a conversation that must be had…… and it is my hope and prayer that you would join me.