All lives have meaning

Imalay Guzman photo submitted

Homeless kids under the Green Street bridge, Canal District … Kids are always there, resting, eating, asking for donations. Photos taken June 11, 2017: R.T.


By Imalay Guzman

There are things we as adults, parents or even siblings have to be aware of; we truly don’t realize what it is to lose someone. Once they are gone, we are left with so many unanswered questions.

Suicide is a mental health issue that people need to become more educated on. This topic should be discussed in any family setting, especially if anyone has a history of mental illness. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in young adults from ages as early as 10 years old to 24 years of age.

I remember being a teenager and feeling unaccepted, invisible and confused. Whether it’s your first day in a new job or attending any level of education, you have to admit it can be intimidating. Being the new person can go either way – good or bad – and that alone can be stressful. In today’s society you can either fit in or be completely isolated. Imagine being judged by rumors and ridiculed in front of other people, being harassed by someone or even feeling unaccepted. Feeling like there’s no way out or that people will not understand can result in an attempt of suicide.

We all know someone who has suffered because of bullying. Believe it or not, your child’s behavior reflects the type of parenting that is provided; everything starts at home. In any case of bullying, the aggressor and victim have similarities in backgrounds; their only differences are the personalities in each individual. Often children from abusive or broken homes are the ones who lash out because they don’t know how to express their emotions in a healthy manner.

It is always up to the parent or caregiver to educate the child on how to express or communicate their feelings the right way. I understand that as adults, we carry many responsibilities and forget that our children need attention, too. They also go through personal issues that can be hard to talk about.

In the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why,” the main character commits suicide because she had gone through a sequence of traumatic events. In the show, she reached out for help in her own way, and it seems like no one could see or hear what she was going through. In the series, she felt like suicide became the only option because she did not want to bother her parents with her problems. Her parents were already going through their own problems. In the character’s eyes, the decision to commit suicide was the best solution for everyone. She even thought her parents wouldn’t be bothered by her actions because, ultimately, she believed their marital problems were because of her.

In the end, every individual in this world matters. Every human being should be able to live a full, experienced life. No one should ever think that their existance doesn’t have purpose. Every man or woman in this world has a reason to live or a reason for living. My recommendation is that we teach our kids to communicate with us, to understand that they are our legacy. Let’s do this by actually attempting to put the electronics down and spending personal time with our families.