Although no one ever said saving the world would be easy, I was a fool to think it might be. One summer evening, I was conversing with strangers as usual when a jolting message appeared on my screen: “Please help me.”
“Talk to me” I replied curiously, unaware of the chain of events to follow. Her life story, riddled with heartache, scrolled across my computer screen. Desperately, feeling as if I were hanging over a rocky cliff with nothing but a flimsy root to grip, I urgently typed back reasons why she should not pull the trigger. My pathetic attempt, however, was to no avail. Before disconnecting, she sent me one last message: “Do not blame yourself.” But how could I not? Waterfalls of tears drenched my cheeks that night. I lay in bed staring at my ceiling for the longest time, just wondering. How I could save the world if I could not even save one life?
Days went by and the memories of that summer evening still haunted my every move. Though I succeeded every day in my efforts to spread happiness, I was still not content. To be satisfied, I knew I had to complete the task I had previously failed at: I had to save a life.
About three months later, on a Saturday afternoon, I was online as usual. Though nothing was usual about the first conversation I had.
“I am going to kill myself,” was her first message to me. This time without panicking, I typed out a careful, “Why?” and our conversation took off. Somewhere, between calming her down and affirming the undying presence of hope, I found her a reason to live. Before disconnecting, she promised to email me.
“Thanks. Stay beautiful,” she said. I closed my laptop and sat back, letting my guilt be replaced by happiness.
I did it. I thought. I saved a life. However, one life seems so miniscule in the grander scheme of things now. Now, I am going to save the world.
And I reopened my laptop.