I might have saved someone’s life today. So can you.

penguinBut the thing is, you might not ever know it.

Young people kill themselves because of harassment, torment, bullying, and immense internal pain.  You can be the person who stands between them and suicide, but you might never know it.  Ideally, none of us would ever know because the someone we’ve influenced has a happy life, full of friendship and love and acceptance rather than pain and sorrow and isolation.

The suicide rate amongst gay teens has not gone up over the past several months, it’s just that we’re hearing about all of them.  The media seems to latch on to topics, issues, and attend to them very closely for a time, and then those issues sink into obscurity again without much change.  I hope that doesn’t happen with this issue.  Instead, I hope that each of us start attending to the individuals around us, offering them love and support.

It doesn’t really matter what your perspective is on homosexuality, the legal or moral aspects of it.  Basic kindness is required of us for everyone around us.  To do otherwise is unacceptable.  The kind of language and hate that was espoused at the Norman Independent School District hearing a few weeks ago, for example, is simply inexcusable.

We sang one of my favorite songs in my Unitarian Universalist church yesterday.  I do not talk about my faith on this blog much, because the kind of secular comprehensive sex education that I encourage here exists aside from any individual’s faith.  (While of course individuals use faith to help guide their sexual decisions, faith should not influence an educator’s sexuality education.)

This song is, I think, quite applicable to this conversation.  I wish that I, or someone else, could have told all of these young people that they ARE beautiful, that they ARE whole, and that their love IS a miracle.

Here are the lyrics, click on the title to hear it:

How Could Anyone

How could anyone ever tell you
You were anything less than beautiful?

How could anyone ever tell you
You were less than whole?

How could anyone fail to notice
That your loving is a miracle?

How deeply you’re connected to my soul.

Words and music by Libby Roderick c 1988

About Karen Rayne

Dr. Karen Rayne has been supporting parents and families since 2007 when she received her PhD in Educational Psychology. A specialist in child wellbeing, Dr. Rayne has spent much of her career supporting parents, teachers, and other adults who care for children and teenagers.

1 Comment

  1. (it was a Norman City Council meeting)

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