Kenyon, Minnesota is a small town whose 2010 census came in as 1,815 people. It is located in beautiful southeastern Minnesota, amid rolling hills and lush vegetation, land that was not scraped flat by the glaciers. My family lived not far from there for a few years, in the equally small towns of Zumbrota and Goodhue. Kenyon is located in Goodhue County.
Today, Police Chief Lee Sjolander posted a fabulous message on the Kenyon Police Department Facebook page. We should all be so lucky to have a police chief like this. I’d like to repost Sjolander’s message in its entirety, because it is an excellent message. My comments below.
Thoughts from Chief Sjolander…
Today I’m writing about you. Yes you…
I know you’re down. I know you feel like the good days are gone and are never coming back. I know that you are thinking some drastic thoughts and are feeling like your world is crumbling around you.
I know you’re worried about money, your car, your house, your kids, you worry about everything…
I know you worry about what the neighbors think, what your co-workers think, what your family thinks.
I know you put on a brave face and when asked how things are, you say things like “fine”, “good”, or “ok”…but they are not.
I know you think you “deserve” to feel this way, you’re not worthy, you have this coming, etc.
I’m here to tell you you’re wrong.
We all have bad days, we all feel down at times, life can be unfair and cruel.
We are not all the same and some of our needs are stronger than others.
We all have money issues, we all have vehicle issues, our houses need work, sometimes a good cleaning, sometimes they need to be filled with laughter and love.
I’m here to tell you you matter! Your family and friends need you. You’re an important part of their lives and they are here for you, trust me…I know.
People are thinking of you right now. They wonder if you’re ok, they want you to call or stop over. They want some of your time, they want to show you how important and loved you are.
They know that you’re hurting, but they don’t know what to do. It’s up to you to let them in, let them help, and if they can’t help you, find someone who can.
Here is my wish today. If you are feeling like this post is about you, let someone know you need help. Call, stop in, send a text that says “I’m hurting and need help” do something to let people know you’re in need.
If you feel this post is about someone you care about, call them, stop over, send them a text that says, ” I’m worried about you, I’m thinking of you, you matter, I love and I’m here for you”
You just might save a life. I know I did…
What a positive message! Today’s graphic is a related quote by Yehuda Berg: “Hurt people hurt people. That’s how pain patterns get passed on, generation after generation after generation. Break the chain today. Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion, cruelty with kindness. Greet grimaces with smiles. Forgive and forget about finding fault. Love is the weapon of the future.” Lee Sjolander’s message and Yehuda Berg’s quote show us that we can tackle the problem of violence from two angles.
Those of us who are doing OK need to be more aware of the situations and feelings of others. So many times when someone goes off the deep end and does violence, we see, belatedly, some of the red flags in their behavior, and we realize what triggered the violence. The problem is that nobody saw these things until it was too late. Children are killed in their classrooms, moviegoers are killed in a theater. Shoppers are killed at the mall. Students are killed on their college campuses. Business people are killed at work. All because someone was hurting and wanted to exact vengeance. Children are molested, women are violated and mutilated, family members are insulted and demeaned, and family pets are abused. All because someone was hurting. We need to be more aware when our family members, friends and colleagues at work are unhappy, and we need to offer them sympathy, compassion, kindness, support, and acceptance. We need to be aware when someone we know needs help, and there needs to be a system in place where counseling can be offered at no charge or for a minimal fee.
We need to teach our kids from the time they are small that it’s OK to ask for help, to reach out for support. We need to teach them how to support and uplift one another. We need to get rid of the stigma that is attached to people who seek help from mental health professionals. We need to make it easy for people to seek help, because everyone needs help and support at some point in their lives. If we can learn to seek out and accept help in the smaller matters of life, then we will have created a lifeline for ourselves when we need a more substantial level of assistance.
In your life, right now, who is hurting? Is it you? If so, please do as Lee Sjolander says and reach out to someone for the support you need. Is it someone you know? Reach out to them somehow to let them know that you care. 🙂