Why don’t people value their life?
Suicide takes nearly 40,000 lives every year. One of my good buddies (Zach Zellner) started a movement against suicide by encouraging others to LIVE their Life. Suicide is the second leading cause of death amongst young people ages 15-24. Students are bullied in school, feel inadequate from media portraying the way they should be, and maybe not even believed in by their own parents.
The LIVE LifeProject was created to help others Love, Inspire, Value, and Empower life. Zach and his friend Jake came up with the idea after three friends, within a year’s time, took their lives.
LIVE is an acronym for Love, Inspire, Value, and Empower. They chose these four words because these are the words that can save a person’s life.
Zach wrote,”Whenever I think of one of my friends who took his life, I can only imagine the loneliness and hurt that they were feeling. They didn’t love their life or feel loved. Realizing this, the “L” in LIVE was a pretty easy word choice. Jake and I decided that if we wanted to help others Love Life, we must love OUR OWN lives. I’ve heard it from many speakers to “Love everything about life. The success, the failure, the challenges.”
Zach went on to say, “Inspire was our word for “I.” The definition of “inspire” from Webster online dictionary states that to inspire is “to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on.” Take the time to think of a person who inspires you and how great it is leaving a conversation with that person. When I think of the people who inspire me they have something in common. They inspire through actions, big and small and they say the right thing”.
“A great question to ask yourself when you have a choice to make “will this inspire?” The coolest thing about inspiration is it seems that the more “inspiring” acts I do, the more inspiring acts I do. It’s like a snowball. Begin creating a life of inspiration, again starting with yourself and before you know people around will also be inspired!”
“V” was probably the hardest letter to figure a word out for. In the end we chose “Value.” There are so many times when even in my own life it’s hard to see value. Such as when I experience a setback or failure. Then I think of the people who I’ve inspired while being a counselor at WASC Leadership camp or the family and friends that have added value to my life.”
Finally Zach said, “We chose to make “E” “Empower”. We were a little bit hesitant at first because we felt that “inspire” and “empower” were too closely related. However after we looked up the meaning of “empower” we were hooked. By definition to empower is to “give authority to.” That’s exactly what we want to do. We want to give people authority to live the life they are meant to have . Give people the authority to be out there and crazy! But, as is a common theme with these words, you can’t empower someone else if you can’t empower yourself. So empower yourself! Take a chance and step outside of your comfort zone. Do that thing that you’ve always wanted to do.”
Zach Zellner is the cofounder of The LIVE Life Project, a proactive movement against suicide and depression. He spends his time writing, speaking, and creating a life of inspiration. To see more of Zach’s work visit www.thelifelifeproject.org.
One of the most powerful short stories I have ever read is called “A Simple Gesture”, penned by John W. Schlatter and published in the 1993 bestseller Chicken Soup for the Soul. With one small gesture you can change a person’s life. For better or for worse. God puts us all in each other’s lives to impact one another in some way. I’m confident that if we can start LIVING, it’ll spread to others. We can save lives!
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