Smiles and Cries

Posted: March 27, 2013 by Handy in Communication, Education, Life, Religion, risks, faith, Uncategorized


A famous quote from the movie Training Day came from Ethan Hawke who played Officer Jake Hoyt. While having a convo with fellow Officer Alonzo Harris played by Denzel Washington and a drug dealer named Roger, he says “It’s all about smiles and cries. Yeah. You gotta control your smiles and cries, because thats all you have and nobody can take that away from you.” Now at that moment he was making reference to figuring out the streets, but after further thought, I feel like that could be applied to other aspects of life. It’s very true that you must learn to sometimes hide your feelings and release them when you feel as though the timing is appropriate. But what I am seeing and learning more and more nowadays is that sometimes it isn’t a good thing to always hide or control your smiles and cries. That its cool to release those feelings, because those same feelings might be the death of you if left unnoticed.

It’s all about smiles and cries. This very quote has me thinking about some recent situations that have hit very close to my heart. Let me ask you an honest question audience, when you ask somebody how are they doing, do you really care to know or are you just going through the motions? If someone that you know answered that question with a response such as, “I don’t know honestly, I’m feeling suicidal…” Now would you try to help that person ooor would you give them the crazy face?

Like I said before, some recent situations have hit me very close to my heart. Those situations, which I won’t get into too much detail have to deal with people that I care for and suicide. Here is an alarming fact: In June 2012, the New York Daily News reported that a CDC study reports that 1 in 6 teenagers have seriously contemplated suicide and 1 in 12 teenagers have attempted suicide. It also reports that the highest rates are among females, specifically Hispanic females. The study says that suicide rates have grown from 6.3% to 7.8% from 2009 to 2011 and that the first 2 years of high school teenagers have higher suicide rates than teenagers in the last 2 years of high school. These numbers are entirely too high and something must be done to fix it.

But back on topic people, I know of multiple people in my life that have contemplated or tried suicide. It’s a sticky situation because you don’t know what is a trigger of the action. Anything that you say or do to that person, knowingly or unknowingly could possibly lead them closer and closer to attempting suicide. Our teenagers are feeling like they have to fight this battle called life all by themselves and we have to change that feeling. Too many times, when you speak to teenagers you hear them say things such as, “I feel like no one cares about me” or “Nobody notices me, it doesn’t matter if I’m here or not”. We have to start changing the culture, if we don’t we will continue to lose more teenagers to suicide.

Which leads me back to my beginning sentence, it’s all about smiles and cries. When I attended church a week ago, they were having a public speaking contest with 5 high school students. The students had to use a Martin Luther King speech and talk about how they feel it applies to them today. One of the students made reference to the “I Have A Dream” speech and how they felt that since one of their friends did not feel love coming up through middle and high school, they committed suicide. They made reference to how that person will never be able to achieve their dreams because they committed suicide at such a young age. I felt for that teenager because at one point of my life, I had to help someone who struggled with suicidal thoughts at a younger age in my life. It is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do, but one of the most gratifying things you will ever do also. Take the time to help a young teenager figure out life because it really only takes one person to change a life.

Mentor somebody, become a big brother or big sister, volunteer at a children’s home. Anything to help the current generation understand that its not them against the world. Never hesitate to tell a younger person you know that you love them and care about them. You never know, those few words could really mean the difference between life and death. Sorry for the hiatus people, I promise to drop more blogs on a consistent basis. Be safe out here in these streets and until next time just remember that you are never alone in this world. Peace…

  1. I love your thoughts and interpretation on this line; anyone who cares about and makes an effort to help suicidal people will always have my respect.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Im glad sara had some nice words. Because this piece was all over the place and written by a loon.

    • Anonymous says:

      This reply was me being all over the editor, sorry. Especially with my responses being penned terribly. Hope all suffering through horrible thoughts beat it. The world is better with you in it.

  3. Jon Harding says:

    This was nicely done. I was just thinking about this line this evening and Googled “smiles and cries” and this was the first hit.

  4. Jay Armstrong says:

    I certainly appreciate the article. I do believe though that the statement regarding hiding and controlling your smiles and cries is misguided: the terms “hide” and “control” are being used interchangeably, and that, along with, at that point, combining “smiles” and “cries”, is a mistake. To control actually means to know WHEN TO HIDE and WHEN TO SHOW/RELEASE EITHER emotion (and not them together). Thanks for your time.

  5. dizzurt says:

    There is no way that you could ever get me to believe that 8 out of every 100 H.S. undergrad teens commit suicide! I had a graduating class of 400 and I can damn well guarantee that 32 people did not kill themselves. In my entire 4 year H.S. “career” there were 2 kids who took that dark path with no space for any U-Turns. (and obviously those two, were two too many). I can also make some sense of potentially adding a couple more -give or take- to that “list”(quotes b/c these people are/were not just numbers on a list; they were people who shouldn’t be forgotten) because I understand something like that might not be announced or spoken so openly about. So even taking that into account, that puts the total at like ~5 [over entire 4 years]….Nowhere near 7.8% of frosh/soph teens.


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