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If You're Looking for a Sign to Stay Alive, This is it

A simple sticker affixed to a car window gives a message to everyone, whether you are struggling or want to help those who are struggling. Being humble and possessing empathy are essential in the search for solutions.



If you’re looking for a sign to stay alive, this is it.


That day, I was in a parking lot walking into the grocery store. My eyes glanced to the right as I made my way past a row of cars. I don’t know what caused my eyes to stop on this particular car…sheer chance perhaps. This car had but a single sticker, and it was affixed to the rear window, eye level. It wasn’t buried in between a dozen bumper stickers. It stood out. Purposely.


If you’re looking for a sign to stay alive, this is it.


That was the entire message, and no graphics or pictures surrounded it. Simplicity is vastly underrated.


I began thinking about three things as I continued my pathway into the grocery store.

  • In the depths of despair, many people look for signs. A last-ditch effort to find meaning when it appears all hope is lost.

  • What inspired this person to put this sticker on their car? Have they lost a loved one, or perhaps understand on a deeply personal level what it feels like to be at your lowest?

  • If we want to make a difference, we must embrace being humble as part of who we are. Actions that are not driven by ego or the receipt of accolades are exactly the ones that have the greatest impact.

I will venture a guess that most of us seek signs, particularly when determining whether or not to take a certain path--be it a job, a relationship, a move, or other. Signs don’t have to be equated to the divine to be signs. Signs can be research, information-gathering, seeking opinions, reflection, as well as those that are attributed to a higher power.


Why would it be any different for someone who is barely hanging on to this life? Life has battered them with its worst, and the light has been dimmed so much they cannot see a way out. And so, they look for a sign. It could be anything. A loved one, a memory, a message. Even a message on a car.


Shared experience and empathy allow us to relate in ways others may not understand. But beyond relating, it allows us to find solutions that are not overly apparent to others. There is no way of knowing if the owner of that car had faced a dire choice themselves, endured the painful loss of someone close to them, or simply has a deep understanding of what can take a person to the point of no return.


Regardless of their history, they found a way to share hope, to share a message, to share that the world actually cares. And so, they placed this sticker on their car in the most visible place possible. It may save a life or inspire others to share the message. It’s a reminder to reach out to those close to us and ask ‘Are you ok—really ok? You don’t have to hide the truth. I’m here. We can get through this together. You matter’.


Being humble must guide our actions and responses if we actually want to make a difference. When ego or seeking recognition drives the solution, we are no longer providing a solution. We are providing a conduit to further our own standing.


You have to be comfortable with being a decent human being when no one is watching. Do something because it is right. Do something even if you will never know the impact you had. Do something even if others take credit. Seek making a difference in all things large and small. Find comfort in being the best version of yourself each and every day.


The owner of the car will never know if that sticker made a difference or not. It could save zero lives, one life, or many. But they embrace the not-knowing because the issue is bigger than they are. It is more important.


And so, I want to encourage us all to share the simple message.


If you’re looking for a sign to stay alive, this is it.

 

If you need help but don’t know where to turn, call the Suicide and Life Crisis hotline at 988, or visit their website at: https://988lifeline.org/.


The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States.



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2 Comments


Charlotte A. Cason
Charlotte A. Cason
Jan 29, 2023

This was wonderful. A sign from God, can be a good friend that cares, or a bumper sticker. Life can be very hard for some and they feel no one cares, so we all need to be more caring and have empathy for our fellow human beings. This was a beautiful article!

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Holly Bills
Holly Bills
Jan 31, 2023
Replying to

Thank you for your kind words. Empathy is always the best way of connecting.

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