You might find yourself walking down the street, and someone asks you “How are you doing? “and they proceed to pass you by and keep walking. This phenomenon is similar to the California stop that you will see with some drivers in California, (i.e. they don’t necessarily come to a complete stop at a traffic intersection stop sign) or in the Episcopal Church where you can witness the “California kneel”, where the parishioner really doesn’t go all the way down on the kneel-er. This technique helps a great deal especially if one has Arthritis in the knees.

Seriously, it’s important that people look out and care for each other. However, sometimes, in our fast- paced society our best intentions to look out for others do not always occur.

Witness, the recent feat of the raccoon who scaled a 23-story building in St. Paul. MN. Raccoon triumphs over skyscraper in a climb that … – Washington Post…/a-raccoon-is-scaling-the-side-of-a-tall-skyscraper-an…

This critter drew attention, deservedly so, world – wide. There was a website that kept tract of this animal’s progress as it scaled this skyscraper over several hours. I’m glad to report that the raccoon survived the climb, without mishap, and celebrated by dining on cat food.

I wonder if a human was climbing the same building, if they would have engendered the same amount of interest?

There is a growing sense of desensitization in our culture. Climbers fall off El Capitan in Yosemite National Park and die, a British-Australian couple fell to their death off of a cliff in the attempt to take a “Selfie. “

Then there are the numbers regarding Suicide which are increasing.

Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state over the past two decades, and half of the states have seen suicide rates go up more than 30 percent.
The rise in suicide rates was highest in the central, northern region of the U.S., with North Dakota, for example, seeing a 57.6 percent increase since 1999. Nevada was the only state that saw no increase, and Delaware saw the smallest increase which was 5.9 percent.
Often, the suicide seemed to happen without warning: 54 percent of the people who killed themselves didn’t have a previously known mental health issue. “Instead, these folks were suffering from other issues, such as relationship problems, substance misuse, physical health problems, job or financial problems, and recent crises or things that were coming up in their lives that they were anticipating,” says Deborah Stone, a behavioral scientist at the CDC. “ Suicide rates are up 30 percent since 1999, CDC says – NBC News…/suicide-rates-are-30-percent-1999-cdc-says-n880926

So what can be done to help people who are experiencing crisis ?

A program called “Lean On Me “ was developed by three students at Massachusetts Institute Of Technology ( MIT ):

“Through an anonymous texting hotline called Lean On Me, anyone in the MIT community in need of support can reach out at anytime and connect with a peer — which can be just as important as getting help from a professional, says MIT student Andy Trattner, one of the hotline’s creators.
Lean On Me allows people in the MIT community to connect with a trained “peer supporter” through text message exchanges when they’re struggling with the pressures of college course loads and relationships.” …MIT Students Use Their Coding Skills For Suicide Prevention – NBC ……plan/mit-students-use-their-smarts-create-texting-hotline-..

This intervention has worked and suicides at MIT are reducing in number.

The raccoon made it to the top of the skyscraper, with the support of some humans.

We need to do everything humanly possible to help other people who are struggling in crisis to make it to the top as well.

May it be so.

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting 741741