I was drawn into the search for a suicidal 17 year-old boy yesterday. At the time, I didn't know that he had left a note for his parents telling them he was going to step in front of a train. All I had was a father asking me if I had seen a teen aged boy in a dark coat. When I asked if the boy was okay, and his father said he hoped so, I considered myself a recruit. For more than an hour, I wandered the railroad tracks, the riverbank and some hiking trails. I didn't know any details, but I knew that I was looking for someone's baby. Someone's baby who was suffering. Someone's baby who needed to know that It Gets Better. No matter what. It Gets Better.
Luckily, this boy gets a chance to learn that. No trains were running on our local line yesterday due to scheduled maintenance. An alert friend told the boy's parents their son was making ominous threats. Astute railroad workers were able to give police sightings and timelines. He was eventually reunited with his parents and is now getting a chance to receive help for his problems.
I know that It Gets Better started in the wake of the recent suicides as a result of ignorance and bullying of gay, lesbian and transgender teens, but I think it applies to all of us. Gay, straight, bi, white, black, green, purple. All of us. Take the time to look around you. Notice people. Everybody travels this journey with their own set of concerns. Some have problems that they feel are insurmountable. Especially children. Take some time to let them know: It Gets Better.