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News of suicide a reminder to speak out

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It was with a heavy heart that I recently read about a young lady who chose suicide because of the behavior of others — including those that did not believe her and, therefore, did not prosecute those that violated her. More and more it seems we don’t recognize and honor the boundaries of others, be they male or female, and sometimes even go to the extent of causing verbal or bodily harm, adding further insult by later bragging about our actions.

When do we quit discussing the differences in beliefs and realize that each of us are of one human race, that we each deserve some semblance of respect? When do we quit teaching separation and know that what we do to others we do to ourselves? I’m sure as time passes the young men responsible for the above-referenced suicide, will feel the responsibility in their hearts and suffer for a very long time.

In any kind of attack there is no victor — only two people that are suffering and trying to find their way in the world. Let us talk to our sons and daughters about boundaries, hurtful behavior, and what we are doing to ourselves when we practice such behavior. What we sow we reap, what goes around comes around; whatever the language we use it is the same truth. It is said that “no man is an island” and as such no action is without repercussions, like ripples in a pond.

My father was not a profound thinker, but he informed me — a rebellious 8-year-old — that I could do whatever I wanted as long as I was willing to face the consequences and those consequences were sometimes brutal.

I am reminded to this day that whether you like the way I think or act is of no consequence to me as long as I am truly doing what I believe. I believe we need to speak out for the brutalized person and support him or her in their healing and also support the healing of those responsible for the harm.

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About Joe Niemiec

Joe Niemiec
The Rev. Joe Niemiec Jr. began his spiritual quest in 1986 when he walked out of a Houston jail and was struck by the realization that his life was in shambles. He began his quest for ‘getting back on track’ with 12 step programs, followed by learning and practicing meditation with a local Redding, California, teacher.

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