My Friend Karri Lauritzen, Speaker at a NAMI Meeting. From a Pebble into a Tsunami

How much is an individual’s life worth?  Like the Brad Paisley song says,

To the world
You may be just another girl
But to me
Baby, you are the world

Individuals are everything, because every individual is their own world.

My gorgeous and inspirational friend Karri Lauritzen has been speaking at weekly events about mental health.  Tonight, I was finally able to attend one when Karri got me in as her manager and helper.  Instead of an audience of 200+ kids as usual, tonight’s crowd turned out to be a local NAMI (National Assoc. for Mental Illness) meeting.

Been at a loss for words to express the spiritual emotions I’ve been feeling lately.  The best way I can put it is, what a valuable way to spend a Thursday evening.  To meet these dedicated family and friends, mostly parents, who have someone close to them struggling with life because of mental illness.  These are the people that are hidden from society, people that need help but are excluded by society and it’s resources because they don’t meet a certain social norm.  Even the “normal” people of society have problems: weariness, depression, uncertainties, confusion, lack of impulse control.  It’s just that, in public, people have learned to hide it well under socially acceptable behavior, or hide their issues with alcohol, numbing themselves maybe through work, crying for help through art, or other unhealthy habits.  There’s not one person I know that doesn’t have several mental and emotional issues of some sort.  I’ve written over and over about my own mental struggles while my physical health improves.

So, genuinely help someone.  Make a friend.  Be understanding and creative to make them feel like the whole world isn’t against them.  Because the world isn’t, it just feels that way a lot of the time.

What Good Can You Really Do? or Cause Problems by Not Doing Anything?

“You really don’t understand how important you are, do you? …”

“A pebble tossed from a beach can make and become a tsunami on the other side of the world.  You are that pebble, and I am standing on the beach on the other side of time waiting for the tidal wave to crash.” ~Edouard Kagame, Continuum (TV Series)

For some weird reason, as I listened to Karri’s presentation and personal story, I thought of these lines from an episode of Continuum I just watched.  It’s a SyFy channel time travel detective show.  Yes, weird I thought of this.

Sure, this sounds cliche.  And most of us have lost that childhood wonder of “you can be anything you want to be.”  But isn’t it to all of our advantages to overestimate ourselves?  Assume we can do 120% and hit 100% of our abilities?  Instead of being a realist assuming 100% and only living at 80% our whole lives?

Back to the quote.  How much would the lives of Karri and all of her biological family, parents included, have been different if someone had stepped in to help?  Everything would’ve been different.  About a dozen lives DIRECTLY impacted and thousands and thousands indirectly influenced.  We’re now all aware of how many people we come in contact with, thereby influencing, from all our social network activity.  And what Karri’s story taught me today is, it’s not just people alive at this time, this moment.  Future generations.  Saving one couple today means saving their 5 children as well, and who knows how many grandchildren and great grandchildren?

I never truly understood what future generations may mean to me till today.  Children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren aren’t just some yet nonexistent babies or kids.  These will be, and therefore are, real people.  Real individuals who’ll experience life as their own world, in their own way.  What kind of a condition will they be born into?  What kind of support and care would they receive when they do arrive?  It’s so hard and abstract to think about people that don’t exist yet, but there are many more souls coming than what we see when interacting with people today.

Skip a Youtube video or put down that magazine for just a minute.  Lend a hand.  The worth of that minute may have turned from your personal enjoyment into the well-being of  hundreds or thousands of individuals just like you and me.

p.s. What is Karri’s story?  We’re planning some videos to tell that story, so I won’t give it away just yet!  Let’s say everyone at the meeting tonight teared up after hearing just a part of the story, and made their problems seem less significant.


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