We are living in fractured times. I have never personally known such divisiveness between people in my life as I see around me now. But I do have a cause for hope. Ironically, what gives me hope relates to suicide.
Aiken's annual Out of the Darkness Walk for suicide prevention is Sunday, Nov. 10, at the H. Odell Weeks Activities Center, and as a committee member, I have been working hard with other people in our community to make this year's event more successful than ever.
I am hopeful, despite the fact that the suicide rate is increasing, because for this event and for this issue generally, the things that typically divide us seem irrelevant. Differences of faith or political affiliation don't matter in the face of suicide. Neither do race and sexual orientation. When a fellow sufferer looks in the eyes of someone who has also lost a loved one to suicide, divisions are gone. They become a unified front.
As sad as the reason for our coming together might be, it is a testament to the power of the human spirit that we can comfort each other and raise awareness in a unifying way, despite those differences that often serve to distract us from realizing our shared humanity.