Be Kind, It Can Save A Life.


Audrey Lauer, Managing Editor

When a rock breaks through the surface of water, it doesn’t just disappear without a trace, it leaves ripples. The water closest to the collision creates the largest swell, but even though the other rings aren’t as significant, they are still created. This is true for rocks but it is also true for life; specifically the end of life. When an individual is met with death, they mirror a rock sinking into water. They are the center of this change because they were affected the most. The effect of this event however, is not confined to a single individual. Just as ripples are felt in the water, the effects of a death are felt in one’s community. The closest ring is made up of friends and family. This is the largest swell because of their proximity to the deceased. The next ring, the families who are close with the parents and the siblings but not the actual victim, also feel the impact, but to a lesser degree. This continues into friends of friends of friends until the ripples encompass an entire community, even in the event of a suicide. The effects of this action do not sink with that individual but ripple into countless lives.

This is why Louise Stoddard approached the Outlook. Mrs. Stoddard proudly raised a kind and bubbly young lady. Her name was Stacy, and anyone could tell you that she was happy. As a Peninsula Seahawk, class of 1993, she made it to state as a saxophone soloist twice, ran four years of track, was elected to ASB both junior and senior year, and was voted into the senior hall of fame for most spirited. She was outgoing and always encouraging and was known as a dependable friend. She was involved and she wasn’t alone. However, what her community saw did not reflect how she felt. Stacy graduated and went on to become a wildcat at Central University. She came home after a year and before turning twenty one fell victim to suicide.

Stacy is one example of the many cases today. Her family didn’t know that she was depressed in the same way that we don’t know what our peers are going through. The football player you sit next to in english could have a horrific home life just as easily as your lab partner could be cutting every night. You never know because now more than ever students are masking their pain with smiles that convince the world that they’re okay. The reality however is that we’re all hurting. Not everyone feels overwhelmed by their battles, but many people, including students at Peninsula High School, are facing so many trials that suicide becomes a temptation. Therefore, we need to be kind. Always. It’s easy to walk through high school with your head down and your hands in your pockets, but it’s important to understand that taking time to learn another student’s name or acknowledging them in the hallway goes a long way.

Suicide is a reality of the twenty first century, and the first step to beating it is to give hope to the students who feel like they are alone. Making this change in our community will not only help those experiencing depression or even contemplating suicide, but it will help their families, their friends, and the other ripples that person might create. Mrs. Stoddard decided to share her story because if she could save even one student from commiting suicide, she understands that she would be saving so many more. Suicide not only hurts the victim but the entire community that surrounds them. So as you walk this campus, remember that each one of us has an effect on the lives of those around us. Whether that comes from ignoring them or being kind, you make a difference. So make it count.

Please watch the following video by Houston Kraft to further understand this concept.