The story behind …” Yes, I am ok.”


Sharon, sitting behind her desk , completely lost in space , with a blank look on her face; approached by her Colleague and good friend Trina , quickly pulled herself together and displayed a wide smile on her face.

Trina, being concerned, asked her , ” are you ok , you don’t seem like yourself today?” 

Sharon responded, ” yeah man , am ok.”

…. The next day… Trina received a call at 6 am that Sharon was found dead in her room , she had overdosed on sleeping tablets .

Trina was perplexed,  but apart from yesterday,  Sharon seemed like she was doing well. No one would have thought she would have taken her own life. She was the one always so upbeat and positive.

 Joseph was a bright teen at school,  of late his grades started to slide , otherwise he looked as though he was coping. He was still his jovial self and was still taking part in his usual activities.

One day out of the blue, he got in a fight with another student and stabbed the other student  in the chest.

After probing,  it was found that Joseph’s father had lost his job , his mother just had a new baby and their family was struggling financially.  It was noted that frequent arguments were taking place between his parents at home due to the financial constraints.


Were they really ok?


We live in a society where talking about feelings is taboo.  Young boys are taught not to cry , ” boys don’t  cry , you are a sissy if you cry, boys must be tough .”

Girls are taught not to complain too much , and don’t be a bother to others with,” how you feel.” 

Fear of being judged by having a problem or being weak , ” because you can’t cope with little problems”; drives us deep into a corner.

A corner filled with frustration and temporarily relieved or better yet masked by a night out on the streets , alcohol,  weed, sex and sometimes more hard-core drugs .

The frustrated corner that gets smaller and smaller , tighter and tighter,  until the frustration can no longer be contained in that little corner .

 Frustration from not admitting that,  ” I am not ok.”  This pent up frustration can eventually lead to things like the stories above … suicide,  murder , violence,poor work productivity , poor grades in school, or disruptive behaviors. 

So what’s next?

  • Our people have been frustrated for generations.  
  • So how do we break this cycle of frustration? 
  • It starts with us…
  • Let us create a society where sharing how we feel becomes a norm.
  • I am sad, I am happy,  I am tired. 
  • Let us create homes, where the voices of children are heard , where hugs are given,  where I love yous are regular occurrences,  where I am so proud of you is a daily ritual . 
  • Let us create workplaces where the voices of employees are heard. 
  • Let us create a country where the voice of citizens are heard.
  • But remember it starts with you, it starts with me….
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