This past Thursday my school was blessed with the opportunity to listen to Tim Ryan speak.
A man that, as of this past Wednesday, has been 5 years sober.
A man that has been through the ringer to say the least and has see the darkest side. But a man that I respect greatly.
I have never struggled with substance abuse so it was near impossible for me to relate to his struggles but believe it or not there is so much more to his story than just drugs.
I got many things out of Tim’s presentation but the one that stuck with the the most was the much needed reminder that we never know what somebody is going through.
So often in life we judge people by their covers.
Oh that person is on the varsity football team. He has a girlfriend and is always at parties. His life must he awesome.
Little do we expect that the same guy is working three jobs just to make ends meat.
Oh that girl is so pretty and skinny and has so many friends. She is always laughing!
Little do we expect that the same girl is skinny because she hasn’t eaten in days.
That kid is so weird, he never talks to anybody and is always wearing dark baggy clothes, he is so emo.
Little do we know that they are going home from school and slitting their wrist just to try and control the pain.
People make assumptions about others based off of what others say. We make fun of people that don’t fit in and leave them crying and then get heartbroken when we hear the announcement that they are no longer with us.
Makes you think. Doesn’t it?
This world is broken. People are dying every day from drug addictions that all started with one person giving them grief about how smart they are. Or lack there of. How weird they are. Or how much they don’t fit in.
People are being abused every where we look and in stead of leaning up beside the victims we just sit back and say “wow glad that’s not me”
People are being bullied. Harassed in the hallways. And instead of stepping in and saying something we walk past. Because maybe if we just act like we didn’t see it then the issue will magically go away.
It breaks my heart.
What if instead of making assumptions about people we asked how they were doing.
What if instead of making fun of somebody for the way they dress you compliment their hair. Or shoes.
What if instead of sitting back and hoping somebody else will change the messed up world we live in we step up and do something.
My prayer is that one day all my fellow brothers and sisters that struggle can say that they too have been 5 years safe, sober, and happy.
Thank you Tim Ryan. For a much needed reminder.