Don Ritchie, 84, found an interesting way to spend his retirement. He sits by his house that happens to look over one of the number one places in Australia to kill yourself and tries to save people from themselves. (Read more about the story here.)
I said that this site would also demonstrate emotional intelligence and that is what I see here. Most people don’t want to live overlooking this cliff but Don and his wife see it as an opportunity. The official count says he’s saved around 160 people. And it’s not by yelling “Don’t do it!” but instead it’s by giving them a smile and inviting them in for tea.
Interestingly, with the help of the good news site Gimundo (as in, they only tell good news), I found out that there is a man half Don’s age in China who does the same thing.
Chen Si spends most weekends patrolling what is known as China’s bridge of death, trying to stop people from jumping. He says he’s saved 144 people. (Read more here.)
These men’s stories make me wonder about things like personal responsibility, “Man’s search for meaning” (I just posted something about Victor Frankl, the author of Man’s Search for Meaning which you totally have to see) and other such topics. I also wonder if at some point it becomes an obsession. And what if you want to stop? Talk about guilt because there are not many people looking to patrol suicides every weekend like Si, let alone every day, like Don.
Photo by WordRidden in Flickr.