Catching up on my reading with a back issue of TIME magazine I came across a disturbing statistic: 349—The number of U.S. Military suicides in 2012, more than the 295 troops killed in combat in Afghanistan during the year. Really!?!?
I cannot even begin to understand the complexity of the problem but it touched me deeply. Where have we as a country failed? How can we support these brave people as they come back to life as usual—back from an earthly hell? Regardless of your political beliefs, the point where a person decides that life here is not worth living deserves our reflection.
We live here listening to the radio and watching video that portrays a world that many of us know little or nothing about. We rely on the media—biased to be sure—and don’t necessarily see the life stories that result from blanket decisions made here on American terra firma.
How can we be a better support to those not in our everyday purview? How can we support the broken? How can we be more intentional about breaking from our “tyranny of the urgent” myopic stances that ignore the daily pain of others? And why am I addressing an issue of which I have little understanding? Please know I ask this first of myself because I have failed miserably in raising up and looking outside of my current circumstances by justifying my lack of action as needed self-concern. I write this in a hope that we can begin to step up in practical ways to care for the unseen pain of people who may not be that much like us in their experience but deserve our respect and care nonetheless. What practical helps do you have? How can you be more proactive in places you don’t understand?