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Is It Real? (Does That Matter?)

05 Dec

A 13-year-old boy posts a very moving video on YouTube in August of this year. The video goes viral because it comes across as sincere and hits so close to home for many young kids; both, today and many [kids] we can no longer help. Most of Jonah’s friends have moved on to high school and at the time he posted the video, he only had one person whom he considered to be a really good friend left in middle school. From the video, it’s painfully obvious he is hurting.

Fast-forward four months and Jonah posts a follow-up video with his friend, Kira(sp?)—telling everyone he is really popular in his school and everybody likes him. There was a backlash and many viewers felt he had lied in his earlier video. (Apparently, if you’re depressed and have ever been suicidal, you’re supposed to remain that way and never get better. *sigh*)

Seriously?

I’ve seen both videos; the first tore me up inside while watching. I was relieved to see a much happier Jonah in the second video and (unlike many others) wasn’t moved to doubt the sincerity of his earlier message. I simply saw the later video as a response to those who were still attacking him via digital media.

Just because we see or hear conflicting messages from somebody who is young, that doesn’t mean one or both messages aren’t true. Adults do the very same thing; and for the adults reading, if you will recall from your own childhoods, most of us would do or say just about anything to deflect unwanted or seemingly embarrassing attention as we tried to “maneuver through our childhood.”

ABCnews did an article on this kid and while I’m certainly not saying that every news organization is beyond reproach and suspicion (we’ve seen plenty who have done anything for a story), they’re saying his story is true and that he’s undergoing counseling.

Even if the video had not been Jonah’s “real situation” at the time it was uploaded to YouTube (speaking for myself, I’m inclined to think it was) … it IS the situation for many young LGBTQ youth growing up today. And for the record, one doesn’t have to be gay to be bullied—many kids can relate to Jonah in his initial video because they themselves are perceived as being different and they too are bullied by their peers. That too is unacceptable.

It’s not only the person (in this case, Jonah) that matters, but the message as well. I’ve been suicidal myself at different times in my life and each time I managed to pull myself through it. No need to discuss what was driving my own depression; the point is none of us “really knows” what’s going through the mind of another who is that depressed and so-inclined. Some will put on a strong front, their friends and family completely oblivious to the pain that he or she is feeling. Others will allow some of this pain to be seen but later laugh it off in an attempt to avoid the never-ending, pressing questions and comments that (to him or her) are perceived more so as “judgment” than as being helpful.

Life is fleeting and it is worth the living but not everybody recognizes this “during every moment of the time he or she is walking upon this earth.” For that reason, I have always chosen to err on the side of caution in matters such as these. If someone says he (or she) is experiencing thoughts of suicide or even a level of depression that could lead to such, I treat it as “real” (NOT as a means to attract attention). I’d rather waste my time trying to give a little hope to somebody who is playing me for the fool, rather than make the mistake of dismissing a “real” cry for help—only to later hear that individual has taken his or her life.

For those in countries where the [original] video cannot be accessed due to music infringements (copyright violations), I’ve copied and recreated it without the audio and uploaded it to my own channel here. One thing that I cannot promise is whether or not YouTube will allow it to remain online since it is not my own original work—so if the link does not work for you, it’s likely because YouTube has disabled it. As of the time I posted this, it was working.

Namaste,
Michael

Related Links:

My having provided the reader with the above listed links to PEREZHILTON.com should not be construed as a general endorsement of Perez Hilton and the content he makes available on any given day. The articles linked to here are provided, as is, in order that you might read and form your own opinion as to the validity (or lack thereof) of the claims by Jonah Mowry’s detractors, in which they accuse this 14-year-old child of being a fraud.

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About The Author

51-years old and determined to sail through life with a smile (but sometimes brash as hell). LOL. Born and raised in Carlsbad, New Mexico but having lived more than half of my life in Texas. Raised with a strong faith in God but describe myself more as simply a faithful person rather than a Christian. (Too many people rely on their religious 'beliefs' as an excuse to maintain a closed mind rather than emulate the loving nature I believe Jesus Christ did represent.) Registered as a Democrat but fiscally I'm probably more likely to identify with the Republicans. Am equally disgusted with both parties at the moment and tired of the status quo in Washington, D.C. I'm a spiritualist who believes you should reach for your dreams and believes you can attain them, for the only thing that really stands between you and your goals ... is yourself. Favorite quote of recent is "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, the present is a 'present' (a gift)..." —Author unknown

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  1. MichaelM

    March 13, 2012 at 2:07 am

    The following was submitted as a comment on my youtube channel on 2012-Mar-13:

    I have a similar situation my best friend left me and I got no one left it hurts wen ppl tell u ur the prettiest girl in school and then they leave u so apparently I’m not as good as ppl say I am I’ve tryed to commit suicide 5 times but I guess god doesn’t like me or want me cuz I’m still here and breathing even though it hurts every second I’m here i want to make the ppl that left me pay but I can’t theres no way I’m getting revenge. I’ve sliced my ankles so deep that u could see tendons move

    nickeygirl6 2 hours ago

    My response (as originally posted on Youtube and reposted here for the benefit of others who may be feeling similarly):

    @nickeygirl6 I will tell you like I would anyone thinking of suicide; don’t do it. This may sound cliché but suicide is “a permanent solution to what is usually a temporary situation.” I know everything seems more serious to a teenager and not being a part of the “in crowd” may [sometimes] seem overwhelming. But just because things seem impossible today doesn’t mean they will 6 months, a year or 3 [years] down the road. Just hang in there. The best revenge is NOT giving the haters the satisfaction of you taking your own life. You are better than that.

    Namaste,
    Michael

    If you are feeling all alone and are contemplating suicide, please reach out to a suicide helpline to speak with someone as soon as possible. While The TREVOR Project is geared toward LGBT youth (and you may or may not identify with same), please consider calling the number shown below. Even if you are not gay, trained volunteers are available to discuss what you are feeling (or if you would prefer, one may be able to put you in contact with a group you feel more comfortable talking to).

    The TREVOR Project:    866 488 7386
    They care; I care…