Hello. My name is Sarah and I am a freshman at Lewiston High School. Let me tell you a little bit about my feelings about the topic of suicide.

I feel very heavily connected with this subject because one of my close friends attempted to take their own life a few years ago. Thankfully, they survived, and they are doing much better now. They realized that there were people there to help them and that they shouldn’t be scared to talk about what they were feeling at the time.

I know that a lot of people feel uncomfortable with just the word suicide. That needs to stop. I know that it’s a terrible thing and that many adults don’t like talking about it. I also know that some teenagers don’t like talking about it. But I think that there needs to be more open discussions about suicide. Not just the standard “it’s not an option” talks, because, obviously, it is an option that people feel is needed. It’s just not the one that people should feel that they have to choose.

We need to have these important, student-led conversations about why it isn’t the only solution to their problems.

We need to see teenagers out in the schools being kind to one another. We need to see everyone being treated with kindness and respect.

Everybody needs to remember that anything they say or do can make or break someone’s decision. Without even realizing it, you could’ve said something hurtful to someone, and it had an impact on their life.

Or, you could’ve said something kind to someone, and they were smiling and thinking about it all day.

With everything going on, children in today’s world need more kindness in their lives. They need to see people being kind to others, and they also need to see that people care about them. They need to not feel alone.

So for all of you kids or teenagers, I challenge you to invite that person sitting alone to come sit with you or to compliment somebody. Or, it could even be as small as a smile.

Speaking for myself, when someone smiles at me, I think about it all day, and it makes me feel happy and warm.

As for the adults, I challenge you to do at least one random act of kindness once a day for a week. It could be writing a thank-you note to somebody; it could be paying for someone else’s order at the drive-through; it could even be telling someone that they are doing a good job when you see that they are struggling.

If every single person here did one kind thing, it could turn into the butterfly effect and soon enough, there will be way more love, kindness and respect in our community.

Go home and make a difference.

As my favorite teacher once said, “Everyone has at least one struggle that they are dealing with. So be kind to others. Even when it’s hard.”

Sarah Greaton lives in Lewiston.


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