I’m Nothing

Some people think they have little value. Some are suffering from depression or some other mental ill-health; others are the only guest at their pity-party…

‘Ambulance’ is a documentary series which follows the work of ambulance services. Last night we followed ambulance crews around London.

It included a young man who had hanged himself… I was reminded that suicide is the highest cause of death for men under 45; I learnt that ambulance crews had to deal with 489 hangings in London last year. Horrific. People who think they are nothing and want to stop their suffering.

In School in 1984… children wrote poems about family members – brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents… some I turned into songs. It culminated in a production we called ‘Happy Families’. Children read their poems and sung the songs…

Some children thought their lives were of little value. At one point a small child came onto the stage and sung:

‘I’m me

How I wish that others could just see

This is just the way my life’s to be

But I can’t help being me.

I’m me

People say they hope my life will change

They would like my life to rearrange

But I can’t help being me.’

Shirley Bassey sung: ‘I who have nothing, I who have no-one…’ I looked it up – it was 1963. It’s a song about someone with low self-esteem, and love that was doomed to failure.

Augustus Toplady wrote the old hymn ‘Rock of Ages’ in 1763. He knew what it was to have low self-esteem:

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.

He saw his own frailty, weakness and hopelessness. He found meaning, value and hope outside himself…

…to be continued…

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