Words by Katherine Khaw Ze Yun
Look at us. The differences that come along with us: race, class, gender, capability, sexuality, colour, opinion, et cetera. We are so many, the diversity of identities that we can celebrate. She is a Chinese, he is an elite, you are an intellectual, and I am a writer. These classifications that society often deem as stereotyping do not need to bring negative implications.
Yet there are certain aspects we cannot deny, we are the same through and through. We have blood coursing through our veins, we need oxygen to breathe and we are beings that grow. We break when we fall. And this how we all go: we die.
In ways more than intended, we die in differing measures.
Some in fires, some in accidents, some pass in their sleep, and some, my dear friend, they take their own. We call this suicide.
Loneliness and hopelessness are the leprosy of our generation.
Each case is special. Some are affected by their peers, some by their family and even themselves. There is nowhere to turn to, nowhere to hide. It is the people we love most that will hurt us deeply. Yet what we find out is when we are too late, we realise we are not looking, we did not look close enough.
Here is one way to consider the character of another. Does the smile of their lips reach their eyes? Watch and see if their fingers are clenched tight to hide their plea.
In an era that is more connected than ever, we are drifting apart. We create profiles and build monuments of deception, we forget that in our humanness assistance is a necessity. I do not want to be weak, she says. I am afraid of rejection, he mumbles. I need to fit in, you quietly thought.
I cannot let these people go as they are, are the words I whisper in a prayer.
You are entitled to your opinion, this I will not deny of you. Yet let me implore my case, to take a bit of your time and extend a sense of connection to another who may very well need it. They take pills and use guns, they wield knives and conquer terrifying heights. With a rope in their hand they rehearse their last lines. Your smile, your words, your touch – they can reach in and make their dark skies grey.
Humans are social creatures. We die every day in so many ways. But for me, I think it would be amazing to have one less way to go from here.