Arnold W. Thomas, MSW, Ordained Holy One, Clinical Chaplain, Pastoral Counselor, Motivational Speaker

First of all I would like to say that "suicide" is not the right answer! I have offered my consulting services in various communities. Speaking to thousands of individuals annually. I have been able to offer hope! Time and time again I have been told that the manner in which I present is powerful and motivational. Individuals have said it's better then the "Yellow Ribbon" presentations. Other individuals have told me it's the most spiritual they have ever felt in life. Many have said it's awesome how a presentation can make a person laugh and cry at the same time. It's not the same old depressing presentation about suicide. It's about choosing life!.


As a tribal member from North America I would like to share the following: Suicide is not our way as tribal people of this land. Throughout my travels working with various communities in this awesome land of ours, I have come to the understanding that suicide has been a teaching adopted by my people.


I would like to share about what the spiritual beings of this land have shared with me.


Why do people hang themselves? Many individuals have shared of how various loved ones have used hanging as a solution. "IT'S NOT OUR WAY OF LIFE"! You are only alone with your thoughts and feelings if you choose to be alone.

When various tribal people were at war with the French, English, Spanish and United States calverey, men went into battle. The men fought for our ways of life that were being threaten. They fought for the grand mothers and grand fathers. They battled for the women, sisters, children, grand children and future generations yet to come. They were standing to insure that our tribal languages, traditions, ceremonies and culture as a whole would survive. When tribal chiefs, medicine people and warriors were captured. They were hung. "SUICIDE BY HANGING IS NOT OUR WAY"!

IT'S NOT OUR WAY: Suicide by fire arms!

At one time upon this mother earth every one made offerings! People would make fire to keep warm and cook food. Also, offerings of ceremonial tobacco, food and other items were made to the fire. Those offerings became less over time. Then people began putting various forms of metals into the fires. Thus, creating weapons. Out of the fire came numerous items. But, fire arms have been the most destructive to the tribal people of North America.


"SUICIDE IS NOT OUR WAY"! Suicide by ingesting medications "Overdose". The various forms of pills individuals take to end their lives is not a viable option. Various forms of medication have their root from the mother earth. Rather then swallowing 20 or 50 pills. Why don't people go out on the land and gather herbs. Not just one sage brush. But, 20 to 40 sage brush plants. Then boil them up and drink all the sage juice. Then wait and see what happens. There are so many plants in which medications derive from. Those plants all come from the mother earth.

The mother earth is always giving! She never tells us human beings NO! She never speaks of being too tired! She continues to give her offerings. How kind and compassionate she is. Take the energy you receive from her numerous offerings and cultivate your life to how you want it. Feeling depressed and alone? Feeling that no one cares? Take a small amount of food outside. Tell the mother earth "THANK YOU" for the offerings she has given. Explain to her this food is a prayer offering. Place your thoughts and feelings of anger, hate, fear, loneliness, joy, love, happiness and so forth into the food. Ask her and the creator that made her to hear your prayer offerings you are placing into the food. Then place the food upon the mother earth. You can even sit upon her and place your hands on her and let her take what is troubling you. Also, you can give her positive energy back. She is a kind and compassionate female entity. Suicide is a link to depression! Check this out. Depression is a state of mind! When you begin to love yourself it is a intellectual decision to care. No person can force you to love. Only you can make that choice. Make that awesome choice to care for yourself. Then when you begin to love yourself enough, make the choice to love your family and friends. It's the tribal way of life!


It's so awesome that for thousands of years our grand fathers and mothers went to great lengths so we can be alive today. Yes, indeed! Our people made various expressions of verbal and non-verbal prayers upon the earth. My question is what are you doing with those expressions of prayers your people made so you can be alive today. Yes, you are a direct result of years of prayers that have been made. It does not matter in which land you originated from. All of our ancestors made prayers so we can be alive today. It's up to you to continue to see that the prayers move forward. If you do not know what to pray about, I would like to encourage you to give "THANKS" in your daily prayers! "THANKSGIVING" is thousands of years old! It's one ability we have over all of creation. Giving " THANKS" for what you have is awesome. You can begin with giving "THANKS" for every body part you have from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. You can then give "THANKS" for the external and internal aspects of your body.

When you give "THANKS" and get to the core of your body, it is beautiful! Our D.N.A! The blood line you originated from. Then you acknowledge your ancestors! Give "THANKS" to your ancestors. Then give "THANKS" to the spiritual beings outside of your physical body, like the sun, earth, water, air and moon. Also, give "THANKS" for who is in your life. Give "THANKS" for what you have and don't cry about what you don't have"! Giving " Thanks" is one ability we have over everything in creation! You have the power to make your life how you want it to be! In 2007 a report stated that the United States had 31,000 suicides. It's very troubling individuals lost hope. I can bet that many more then 31,000 thought of ending their lives. Many think of it and do not act on that thought. Many think of suicide and then plan a method in which to complete the thought. But, then there are those that follow through with the thought and plan. It's sad. There is no second chance for many loved ones.

I believe that for one reason or another almost everyone has contemplated Suicide. Those individuals who take that extra step and attempt suicide, rarely Have a second chance at life. Very seldom do people survive usually lethal methods of ending their lives. Throughout this country people of both genders take their lives by using various methods. Commonly used methods for suicide are firearms, strangulation or overdosing on drugs or alcohol. The consumption of alcohol and drugs is a slower form of destroying one's life. Other methods used are auto accidents, jumping off buildings and drowning. Males who have attempted suicides are more likely to use fire arms or strangulation, whereas women are more likely to use pills to end their lives.


It seems that people from every age category are using suicide to solve their temporary crises, but never live to experience the final result of their solution. The important part of life is to remember that every person endures hard times and with commitment, consistency and patience you will be able to work through it. Suicide does not discriminate against anyone. It does not care what national origin, religious denomination or socioeconomic group to which you belong. There are no laws or boundaries that suicide obeys or to which it adheres. But, one fact is clear: the self destruction causes devastation for those who are left behind. There are many cycles in this life that the Creator has given us. I definitely know that the cycle of suicide is one that HAS to be broken. Where ever this cycle originated from... the time has come for it to be broken. One of many messages that I have conceived is stopping the cycle of suicide. Suicide is the imbalance and disharmony of one's self. Often times in life, individuals seem to loose or never find the ability to express their thoughts and feelings. There are various avenues in which one's thoughts and feelings can be expressed in a constructive manner. It is important to remember that people who take their own lives have lost hope and do not believe that anyone else will understand their lonliness, pain, sorrow, guilt, shame or other emotions.

IMPORTANT: You are only alone with your thoughts and feelings if you choose to be alone. By understanding your thoughts and feelings and how to communicate with others, you can find harmony and balance in your life. One fact is true for me: we need to have gratitude and thanks for what we have. Oftentimes when we experience hard and cruel situations in our lives it seems as if nothing will ever get better. As I have worked with populations throughout North America, I have found various teachings in the communities I have visited. In bad as well as good times, I remember my Uncle's words "there is a teaching in everything you are going through. Remember to pay attention, stay awake and listen to what people are offering you." IMPORTANT: You are alive and there is purpose to your life and what you are going through now. Be strong mentally and physically and don't be afraid of your emotions. If fear seems to encompass your every waking thought, turn those thoughts and feelings of fear into a prayer. Find your dream!! Find your vision!! Make goals for yourself. You have purpose.