Today I came face-to-face with an ultimate form of human despair, a suicide attempt.
Our running stroller broke, so I wasn’t able to run last night; when my nanny arrived in the morning, I decided to go for a quick run on the beach, even though it was drizzling. As soon as I put my foot on the damp sand, I felt the serenity penetrate my body. When I reached the water, I felt an even deeper sense of internal peace… when all of a sudden I was shaken by a young woman out of my zone. She handed me her purse and asked me call her mother after she’d drown herself. My internal peace evaporated as I got a strong grip of her and tried to look into her wondering eyes to ask her to give me one minute of attention. She kept going, and I started being pulled in to the water, as I tried to keep her on shore.
The beach was deserted, and the lifeguard was not on duty at Post 3 in Copacabana. I started getting desperate and losing my grip when a guard appeared out of nowhere. As I saw him, I let her pulling hand slip, but he turned out to be a non-swimmer and refused to help her. I desperately dashed to the street to ask for help. Two homeless people joined me to save a human life. They jumped straight into the strong waves to help this lost soul. After what seemed like an eternity, they emerged from the water, dragging her with them. The guard was quick to handcuff her and ask if she was done with her ´show´. I looked her in the eye, held her arm and quietly told her that life had so much more to offer, to give it another try. But she looked back at me with blankness that was frightening, out of this world.
Then in another act of despair, she threw herself into the water, this time handcuffed. The homeless jumped in again and this time, were more forceful in pulling her out of the water. By that time, a trash track pulled up and offered to carry them to the street, so the woman wouldn’t have another chance of repeating her attempt.
The whirlwind stopped, everyone left. Then I lost it. I ran as fast as I could, crying and sobbing. What makes people reach this low? How can they not see the beauty around them, feel the pulsating rhythm of their own body, lose the awe of life? How did they wonder off so far from the source that gives us energy, the internal fire that keeps us going? How did no one notice?
Disconnected, independent, we pursue our individualistic goals, in pursuit of ´happiness´ that’s empty and self-imploding. We stray further and further away from the only real source of happiness, that´s been with us all along, quiet, patient, and complete, waiting inside to be uncovered to blossom and bloom. But we neglected and let it whither, until reviving it becomes almost impossible.
Lets help each other connect to what really matters. Lets stop every once in a while to look into each other’s eyes and ask, prepared to get a real answer. Lets never forget to peak inside of our own selves, to connect, to ask what we really desire in life. And lets pursue those authentic desires whole-heartedly. Lets give a helping hand to those that are following their dream and believe in them. And let’s live.