A reason to live

For those who feel they have no reason to live — help be someone else's reason to live.

A man I work with was seconds away from swallowing a handful of pills when he was younger. He told me this at work yesterday. He didn't do it because his sister called him at that instant, asking him if everything was okay because she felt like she needed to check on him.

At that moment, she was his reason to live.

I'm so glad he didn't make that decision so many years ago.

Decades later, he has been my mentor working with The Oakland Press. And, in turn, he has also become one of my reasons to live as well.

In this economy, it's easy to be terrified of not being able to find a job or being laid off from the job you already have. I was scared of ever making a mistake, ever misspelling a work or ever making a reader mad at me. Why? Being the last and youngest reporter on the totem pole and seeing three lay offs this year, I suffered from the paranoia that I would be the next to go.

That was until this reporter talked with me. He didn't even know what I was going through. Yet he messaged me on newsroom chat, telling me about his years covering such world-wide known stories as the shooting of JFK and Martin Luther King, Jr.

I told him I hope I'm in the journalism business that long. He told me he knew I would be.

He never knew how much those words meant to me. And whenever I'm scared in this economy that I will lose my job, he reminds me of this.

And now, I hope, through this blog, I can pay it forward and be someone else's reason to live.

Compliment someone (even just saying "I like your shirt" to someone walking by on the street). Be there for someone who looks like they need it. Give someone else a reason to live.

And make that your reason to live.

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