Sunday, September 28, 2014

A man of action: Longtime anti-suicide crusader patrols cliffs of Tojinbo

Longtime anti-suicide crusader patrols cliffs of Tojinbo

This is a feel-good story with a sad background.  I've lived a life touched by suicide.  Maybe you have, too.  A recent celebrity suicide made news even here in Japan, where the man was much admired.  But some of us know first-hand what it's like to have a close friend or relative commit suicide.  I can't bring myself to judge anyone who takes this drastic step. 

What I really admire about this guy is he doesn't say things like, "Think about the pain you're causing."  He lets people talk, finds out what's wrong, then does something real and practical about it.  Rather than offer cheap sympathy or a lot of advice, he simply takes them to employment agencies and financial aid services.  Without judgment.  Even if the outcome remains the same in the end, at least he gives people at the brink a moment to step back and reassess the situation.  They gain a little more time and, in some cases, a lot more time.  An entire new life.

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