Written by Millionaire’s Digest Team Member: Ricky West
Founder & Owner of: College-Spiration
Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor, Blogging, Books, Business, Education, Entrepreneur, Family & Life, Stories, Successful Living and Writing Writer
It’s been a while since I was in High School, but when I think back on my time in High School, there are certain memories that come back to the sports and clubs I was involved with, the friends I had, and the teachers that made an impact in my life, but none of these things haunt me as heavily as meeting “Chris”. We’ll call him Chris to respect his privacy.
As most High School boys were, I was inclined to spend my time with the cutest girl that would actually text me back, after I either Facebook stalked her, or got a friend to get me her number. One night I was at one of our High School baseball teams “fall ball” games. I was accompanied by a girl I was interested in and her friend. After the game, we decided we would go to get sonic drinks, and so we did, and at the sonic, was an open gazebo-like area off to the side of the parking lot, where we went and sat. We were chatting, and I was putting on my Chmooch Charm as I do so well (If only you really knew me, but you don’t so for the story, I was really laying it on ’em…) and it was around 10:00 pm at night, and this guy, who at the time I didn’t know, rolls over to us on his skateboard. Now, Chris is wearing all black head-to-toe. He had on a black beanie, with a black choker, a black jacket, shirt, belt (with spikes), jeans, socks, and shoes. EVERYTHING WAS BLACK. You can tell this guy is trying to make a certain impression or is heavily invested in a certain social culture.
Anyways, he skates over to us, and sits down. Nobody invited him, nobody welcomed or said anything to him, but he just sat there. He says “You’re Chmooch right?” (He obviously said my real name but the point is, he knew who I was) and I notice the girls looking at me, and I give them a look telling them “No I did not invite him, and no I don’t what the heck he is doing here”. So I say “Yeah, how’s it going”? The very next thing out of his mouth is this: “Not good at all, I tried killing myself by drinking bleach, but it didn’t work, and don’t try it, because it does not taste good either. Other than that, I just got suspended from school because I got into a fight in class and cussed out my teacher.”. Wow. Quite the introduction. As you can imagine, I freeze due to how stunned I was.
The girls are freaking out and have the typical High School girl look on their face that tells me they are creeped out, which is understandable, and that they are above this guy, and that they need to get away from him ASAP. I saw something much different.
I saw a very very sad and broken human being. I saw a brother. I saw a cry for help, and I saw an opportunity to save a life.
I don’t know if you have ever dealt with suicidal thoughts or actions yourself, or know someone who has, but for me, I could never ever ignore someone who told me what Chris just told me.
I told him I was extremely sorry, but that I am a part of this fun organization called Younglife where there is music and skits and anyone is invited, and I invited him to come with me the next week. He agreed and skated off, and I dropped the girls off at their house. They were no longer attractive to me.
Chris came to Younglife, had a great time, made friends, and went to every other Younglife after that until he graduated High School. He got a job working at Subway and is going to go basic training in the spring and serve our country in the military. There were a lot of tough talks, and very real and raw conversations throughout our High School time, and he was younger than me, but let me tell you this: Every single time I would go into that Subway he worked at, he would light up, and I knew one thing to be true.
Every single smile I get to see on him, is one more smile that he may have never had, if I pushed him away, and got “creeped out” by him being so forward that night under that Sonic pavilion.
Sometimes when I go back to visit my parents, I go sit in the same spot at that Sonic pavilion table, and I pray for people like Chris because I’m afraid that we live in a world that silences the cries of people like Chris.
I learned later in our talks, that Chris’ dad would wake him up in the middle of the night with hot water, and pour it on his face, and laugh at him, because his dad was a drug addict, and had fun torturing his own son.
I tell you this for one reason, that you would be more attentive to the cries of hurting people. It may never be as evident and obvious as Chris’ case, but an attentive mind and selfless heart will be your guide. Hurt people, hurt people. Join me, in creating the world of compassionate, driven, and inspired people. The world where people look after each other, and we consider each other all as a family. Have you ever thought, at what point did the human race turn against each other? No other species discriminates, segregates, and tolerates the death of their own species. I’m not crazy, and I’m not radical. I’m hopeful, because I think people are good, and desire to be good, but it’s a broken world, so consider this:
What are you going to do about it?
As always, Do Something Great.
All I can say is, I’m glad the bleach didn’t work.
Article Credits: Ricky West
Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor