Larry Buford

I was inspired to write this piece after viewing a disturbing segment on the E! News channel titled “Teen Suicide”. There is a lot of despair in the world today – a lot of hopelessness. The suicide rate has increased and we see it played out in some of the most senseless and cruel ways. It’s not uncommon that we hear stories like a once successful businessman taking his own life, or more selfishly, taking out his whole family in an act of murder/suicide. We hear of mothers killing their own children, and teenage suicide is on the rise. Disregard for human life is rampant, and if we’re not careful we could blame it on today’s economy – joblessness, foreclosures, cuts in services, and many other such factors.

But could it be that we as a society have created such an imbalance in humanity by placing far too much emphasis on the “need” for external, temporal things, and not enough on the true need for things eternal and everlasting? We try to satisfy spiritual needs with man made solutions. Mankind was created in God’s image. God created all things, and so for the fact that we are created in His image, why do we worship and place our trust in the things He has created rather than in Him, the Creator of the universe? Don’t get me wrong – it’s nice to have things, as long as the things don’t have us. God’s instruction is: “…seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). He also says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5).

I remember as a teen having thoughts of suicide, because I looked at my circumstances and decided there had to be more to life than this. I had become so depressed that I was numb to everything around me. Nothing seemed to matter one way or the other. I would write about my feelings, and one day while sitting in my high school study hall, I wrote a song called “Sometimes” where one of the lines reads “…sometimes silence makes too much noise, sometimes real things seem like toys…” When I finally got the nerve to show the lyrics to my mother she read them, then placed her hand on my forehead and asked, “Boy are you alright?”

From that point on even though thoughts of suicide would still come up, I knew they would go away if I would just hang on and not give in to my feelings. After all these years, that same song is included in my Book/CD that offers inspirational thoughts for everyday living. Who knows if God may have given me the song to nurture and preserve for such times as these. If it helped save me, maybe it will help save someone else.

Larry Buford is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and author of “Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand” (Steuben Pub.) Visit the author at (213) 220-8101