This is a piece I wrote for the summer “Editor’s Corner” of the PCC Scroll.
I used sections from the piece I wrote earlier about Chris Cornell.
When I heard Chris Cornell had died, I was shocked. I had fallen in love with Grunge during my high school years when I first heard it. Pearl Jam. Sound Garden. Nirvana. Mother Love Bone. The shock of Chris Cornell’s death further increased when I learned his death had been ruled a suicide. Cornell struggled with depression and anxiety, and he was quite open about it. His death made me think long and hard about the internal battle that each of us face daily, often silently.
I remembered a young girl who committed suicide some years back. I remember someone saying that we should never make a “permanent decision based on temporary circumstances.” I wondered at her age if she knew that life has ebbs and flows, ups and downs. Nothing is permanent, though in the middle of some seasons it seems like the season will never end. And the sad truth is that people end up at the point where they don’t want to experience the extreme ebbs and flows anymore.
Internal battles and struggles can be exhausting and the temptation to give up is very real. The level of despair can get so high. High enough that family, friends and community are not enough to hold a person to this life. Regardless of where you are in life and regardless of your current trials and tests, I beseech you to endure. One of the definitions of the word endure is, “to remain firm under suffering or misfortune without yielding.”
There is a quote that I love. It says, “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” The saying may be a mesh of two quotes. One is attributed to author James M. Barrie that says, “Be kinder than necessary.” The other is a quote attributed to Plato that says, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
One thing I find beautiful is that we were designed for community. None of us are meant to walk alone. We are all fearfully, wonderfully and uniquely made and there is a community that needs our unique gifts and talents.
At the end of the day, people are trying to cope and play the hand they were dealt. Some cope with drugs and alcohol as addicts. Some cope as functioning alcoholics and addicts in nine-to-five jobs. Some cope with sex. Some cope with food. Some cope with God. We all find ways to cope and cling to some hope. We find ways to numb ourselves and numb our pain.
One of the beauties of my walk with God is that I have hope. I have hope in this life and in the life to come.
In the end, what I am trying to say is be kind. It doesn’t matter how successful a person may seem on the outside, or how happy a person may seem on the outside. You never know what a person is dealing with or going through. Be kind to others and be kind to yourself. And above all, endure. Fight because the gifts within you are valuable, sacred and needed. Fight because your life, presence and being are precious. Fight.