100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself: #26.


It means different things to different people; to most of us it’s a word we see solely in fiction. “She was a warrior on a quest of redemption for accidentally poisoning her entire tribe of Amazons with the wrong variety of berries in their strudel. She is… Elsa, Warrior princess of Iceland!” I doubt I could find anyone in the so-called real world that is on a genuine quest for redemption.

And that’s why so many of us throw away the precious gift of existence. We’re convinced we can never undo the mistakes of the past and so we strive to “move on”, until the weight of our sins becomes more than some of us can bear.

#26: The Quest For Redemption.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming anyone for feeling burdened by their past; in fact, I applaud anyone who is willing to acknowledge their errors and take ownership of them. I only wish my own progenitors were brave enough to shine in a light on their lives and the wreckage they’ve been responsible for. I sincerely hope that my mother is at peace now but I’m the first to admit that she was never able to accept and understand just how much her mistakes affected those around her.

Being human means you’re going to screw up your life at times. Being a parent means you’re going to screw up the lives of your offspring as well. There is no getting around these truths.

The Big Question is: What are you prepared to do about it? How far are you willing to go?

Okay, technically, that’s two questions. Shut up. And here’s another one, just to really piss you off: What exactly is redemption anyway?  Try wrapping your head around that one, Sparky.

Can a person make up for a lifetime of mistakes with a few acts of kindness?

I’ll be damned if I know, but I do know this: Allowing oneself to be crushed by the weight of one’s errors with suicide is never the answer. No one ever found redemption by taking their own life.

Maybe it’s not about succeeding at atoning for your sins but simply taking that sometimes-painful first step, and then another and another, and so on, on the road to the Land Of Redemption, or whatever you want to call it. Just trying to be better, especially if you know you won’t ever make it, is heroic and worth living for, in my opinion.

What most people don’t realize about giving to others is that it can be addicting; once your heart starts to open you want to replicate that feeling, you get hungry for it.  And it’s the kind of hunger that won’t leave you so large they need to tear down a wall to get you out of bed. Start small, treat people that have been a pain in your ass in the past with kindness. (It throws them for a loop and that can be fun as hell.)

Reach out to co-workers that seem lonely and detached. Give forgiveness where you’ve been denying it. Take a step.

And then another.

And another.

Trust me, it’s worth trying. It may not make the pain go away at first but you’re not really doing it for you anyway. It’s about the bigger picture, my friends.

See you in the lobby, kids…

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.
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24 Responses to 100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself: #26.

  1. People used to laugh about those trying to find enlightenment and universal truths by staring at their navel saying all the are going to find is lint. (It was a joke about yoga and meditation).
    You nailed it with “the bigger picture” – perspective.
    Easy to get weighted down by the little things – some often not as problematic to others as to yourself.
    People are flawed. It is what it is. Decide to do better. That is heroic. Even if you start from square 1 every day.
    Great paragraph that one 5th from the bottom. “Take a step” – the first one may be a doozie and intimidating, but the ones that follow are easier – and life giving for yourself and others.
    Well said, Hook

  2. The Lord’s prayer says it all in a concise manner. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Well done, Hook

  3. kunstkitchen says:

    Well said, Hook. Well said.

  4. I remember Mr and Mrs Do As You Would Be Done By.
    Good post Hook. Sometimes we tend to forget a simple kindness, especially at this time of year.

  5. Doug in Oakland says:

    My friend Jack said that when someone takes that first righteous step toward getting themselves right, you have to acknowledge it if you want to see more of it in the world. I asked him “Even if they’re an asshole?” and he replied “Especially if they’re an asshole. Assholes have a lot more to be redeemed from.”

  6. Mark Myers says:

    “once your heart starts to open you want to replicate that feeling, you get hungry for it.” So true!

  7. Wonderful, wise words. Just. Be. Kind. Especially to the unloveable. It benefits the giver even more than the receiver, I have found. The world is suffering from a dearth of empathy. Thank you Hook.


  8. Beautifully written Hook. Redemption is a heavy word. The thing is, the person who made the mistake must acknowledge it before moving forward, because those who have been hurt are looking for that acknowledgement. That’s just the beginning. Nothing we do can change the past, but we can affect the future by our present actions. It definitely is about the bigger picture.

  9. Jennie says:

    Hear hear, Hook! The gestures of kindness that seem little to you, may be enormous to someone else. Actually, it might even save their life. Case in point: the graduation speech given by the valedictorian of his high school class floored everyone. He told of the time he met his now best friend. He had been pushed by bullies walking to school, and a boy stopped to help him pick up his books (the boy who became his best friend). He told the audience in his speech that he had decided to commit suicide that day, and somehow the gesture of helping to pick up his books made him think twice. The audience was in shock. Even his best friend had no idea.

    So yes, take that little step to do something or say a kind word. You never know…

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