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Ask the difficult questions

This past week as I was breezing through my day-to-day life, I was blindsided after one small conversation with another mom who I had never previously met. Randomly, we began a conversation (over something so mundane I can no longer recall what it was) and this mom began to tear up.  Not being an extremely emotional (at least on the outside) person, I had no clue what to do. So, I asked her if she needed something. Her response is one I'll never forget.

This stranger of a mom heartbreakingly explained to me that just a few short weeks ago, her teenage son committed suicide. I knew of this tragic death through suburbia chat from friends who had teenagers in the same local high school. So, while it was not new information for me, it suddenly hit home.

SOMEONE'S.CHILD.DIED

This wasn't news to me, but now it was - and still is - personal to me.  Too often we count the numbers, look at the statistics, of death and suicides. We seek to resolve a crisis which can truly never be resolved because you cannot bring these children back to life.  I don't know the situation of this one death, but I look at its impact on this one mom and have to wonder how things got so messy.

But, how often do we ever just stop...look around us...at something beyond ourselves...at something outside of the people we live with, work with and relate to?  How often do we see the problems around us - the messes in which we and our children live - and we try to do something instead of simply avoiding them by sweeping them under the rug?  How often do we actually get down on our hands and knees and put ourselves into the messes so that we can actually make a difference in cleaning them up?

A lot of the messes in which we live cannot be simply solved. They are complex - multi-faceted. But, we can start to work on them by simply understanding them...we can ask the difficult questions and seek out true answers that bring us to what's really happening in these messes. We stop accepting the status quo responses that are a facade put in place to make it appear all is well. We look deeper. 

Asking the difficult questions, and understanding the answers may startle us, is important. We have become too complacent with the "Everything is fine" response - and seldom do we go beyond it. But, asking the difficult questions of ourselves, our family (especially our children), our friends and neighbors, our schools, and more will bring us to the real problems...from which we can begin to develop real solutions. 

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