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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A good individual.

I had read a story about this person before, but I noticed another story about him and the awards he has received and I decided to share them with y'all. I am talking about an Australian man named Don Ritchie. He and his wife moved into a home near the Gap, which are some rugged cliffs with views of the Sydney Harbor.

This is one of those places, like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, that is a well known suicide spot. "Australians have been committing suicide at this spot since at least 1863, when a local woman, Anne Harrison, leapt to her death. An estimated 50 people kill themselves there every year."

Don Ritchie began talking to people who he thought might be committing suicide and then inviting them over for a cup of tea and has managed to convince many people change their mind. "Gordon Parker, executive director of the Black Dog Institute, a clinical facility that treats people with depression, says: "People go to places like the Gap in a state of perturbation. They pace up and down, and in that period of time there's a window of opportunity. Don has saved lives because he has gone up to people and chatted to them.""

For his efforts he has been awarded the "medal for bravery and an Order of Australia (the nation’s second highest honor) for averting hundreds of would-be suicides by approaching people and offering them a cup of tea. ‘I used to sell kitchen scales and bacon cutters,’ he says. Now, ‘I’m trying to sell people life.’"

I hope that throughout my life I can do as much good as him and stay as modest and self-effacing as he does. Truly inspiring individual!

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