When I was a young adult, no one really thought too much about my daily struggles. Sure, my parents kept a roof over my head, fed me and generally cared, but with a hard-working stepfather and a mother who suffered from mental illness herself, I really didn’t have a lot of support when I found life too stressful to handle and spinning out of control.
I never thought about hurting others, but the hopelessness that comes from feeling alone and constantly being misunderstood can create thought patterns that months earlier seemed unimaginable. As you lose your self-worth, your perception of the world also changes. These feelings could have been minimized if someone had reached out.
As a culture, we have been conditioned to feel it is wrong to interfere with the life of another human being. If nothing else can be learned from the deadly shootings recently it is the lack of intrusion into a troubled life can have deadly consequences.
I am not saying the answer to all violence is reaching out. But if you see something has changed in someone’s behavior or ambition, get involved. And if they continue to pull away from humanity, get help. Do not allow yourself the luxury of waiting. Tomorrow may be too late.