100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself: #70.

Your mother may have warned you about them, and she may very well have been right (to a degree) but like all childhood warnings, there are a few different ways to interpret, “Don’t talk to strangers”.

#70: Everyone You Haven’t Met Yet.

When you’re a kid there are plenty of times when you shouldn’t engage with strangers, even if they do offer you candy, but only if you get into their windowless van, or enlist you into helping them find their “lost dog”. And any kid whose parental units care enough about them to dole out such advice is truly blessed; there are far too many parents these days who don’t really raise their kids, they just share a dwelling.

But when you’re an adult, or like me, a reasonable facsimile, the rules have to be adjusted. Sure, you still shouldn’t accept sweets or hop into windowless vans with strangers – unless they’re an all-girl Swedish topless volleyball team. And you shouldn’t help anyone find their lost dog unless you’re in a group and the search doesn’t take you into alleys, remote wooded areas or a circus tent. Clowns, man…

This adjustment can take you places you’ll never dream. Just think of everyone you’ve ever met that wasn’t family. They were once strangers, right? Sure some of them are douchenozzles and asshats, but most of them are pretty cool, right? With the exception of spiders and tax agents, the unknown terrifies us more than anything else we encounter in our lives, and strangers are dripping with the x-factor we all dread.

But fear is what drives many of us to contemplate suicide. Fear of being alone. Fear of failure. Fear of social ridicule, especially online.

Fuck fear.

Yes, I know I’m breaking my self-imposed rule against cursing but that’s how much I hate fear.

Take a chance. But not just on me, on a stranger. If you’ve got no place to go, if you’re feeling down, if you’re all alone when the pretty birds have flown. You can go dancing, you can go walking, listen to some music, maybe just talking, get to know them better.

Admit it, you’re thinking of Meryl Streep right now, aren’t you? And since you don’t know really her, she’s essentially a stranger. My lovely bride was a stranger that I greeted with, “Why don’t you smile more?” during our first encounter. (Which explains why it took so long for her to agree to a date.) My kid was a stranger who could’ve turned out to be a total jerk but who is actually cooler than her could ever hope to be. My parents were strangers to me, but… well, actually that’s not such a good example…

The point is, you can never know just what kind of impact a stranger can have on your life. Yes, the unknown is scary, but it could also mean the difference between life and death.

So if you’re new here, allow me to introduce myself; I’m Robert Hookey, but you can call me The Hook. Everyone else does. It’s a pleasure to meet you.

See you in the lobby, friends and strangers…


Can you blame me? We were all thinking of it.

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
This entry was posted in Hotel Life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to 100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself: #70.

  1. dianaepona says:

    Good advice, Hook. And I totally share your feelings about clowns. I’ve always thought Pennywise should have had a side kick named Pound Foolish. Keep ’em coming! The posts just get better and better!

  2. What a great way to avoid the self-exit maneuver, Hook. Think of meeting a bunch of strangers whose lives are even more messed up than your own. Would provide a new perspective. Also, the chance that there is one in the bunch that one could really like makes the process exhilarating. Well done.

  3. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Sorry. Got carried away thinking I was Meg Ryan for a minute. But seriously, the truth of this hits so deep. Great one.

  4. Doug in Oakland says:

    Well, when you consider that there are more than seven billion of us now, strangers are a nearly unlimited resource when what you need is human contact to keep yourself from making foolish and irreversible decisions.
    I have been incredibly lucky in the strangers I have encountered in my life and the specific timing of encountering them, so I feel you on this post on a personal level.

  5. I was having this very discussion with someone the other day. We were talking about the people you deprive of your presence when you take your own life. There may be someone who needed your help or guidance that will not get that now. It is a selfish way out…

  6. curvyroads says:

    I don’t know how you do it, Robert, but you keep coming up with the best best reasons!!! Keep it up, your public appreciates you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s