Sunday, April 30, 2017

April 29. Day 119. Take a big breath in

 I've been watching 13 Reasons Why. That implies it gives 13 answers. Perhaps, but it raises about 13 billion questions. For those who have missed the memo, this is a Netflix teen drama about the suicide of a teenager. It's controversial. It's smart. It's powerful and it makes me feel ill and angry and sad and helpless often all at the same time. I don't know whether to send a thank you letter to Jay Asher who wrote the book or protest outside  Netflix. Youth suicide is a tragedy that can not be ignored. But youth suicide is also a contagion and anything that could "promote' it to vulnerable youth can not be tolerated. Which is why I am so conflicted. Because what I see is a program that rips at my heart because I see the pain in those left behind. No mother of a teenager could watch this and not be shattered by it. Others may take home something else. What it does scream at me loudly is that we need to take better care of each other, we need to reach out to our young people. We need to look after ourselves. I do not pretend for a second to even start to know how you address these things. I do know, however, that many are turning to Eastern traditions  and practises such as yoga, mindfulness and meditation to help relieve stress and find direction. Certainly there seemed to be a great willingness to join in a mindfulness and meditation session as part of the annual Buddha's Birthday celebrations at South Bank today. I didn't join in. I probably should of but I felt I didn't have the time. My mind has already moved on to what I needed to do next. In short I just failed Buddhism 101. We should live in the moment and not in the past or the imagined future. These would be things worth trying to teach teenagers. Calls to ban the drama or even ban talk of the drama as some schools have done seems to miss the point. This is not someting you can hide under a Bandaid and if you don't see it then it's not a problem. Wouldn't it be better to try and equip teens to better cope with the sh*t life throws at them? Techniques such as mindfullness sure as hell can't hurt. So let's all take a big breath in .....

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