Monday, September 26, 2011

'Alas poor Horatio, I knew him not nearly as well as I should."

William Shakespeare... Playwright. Author. Poet. But above all, a Storyteller. He was 52 years old when he died.

Today I learned of another Storyteller who died before his time. Trey Pennington, who took his own life on Sept. 4, 2011.

We met only once in person, but we shared many conversations via email, Facebook, and Twitter. By all accounts (and from my personal experience) he was one of the most giving people you would want to meet. Always wearing a smile and ready with a word of inspiration for you.

Some would call him a "social media guru" and I would call those people "ignorant."

He was a businessman. He was a father, a grandfather, and a husband. And he also happened to know a bit about social media. At least it appeared that way based on the number of Facebook friends and Twitter followers he had.

Perhaps that was part of the problem. Perhaps we (the fans) did this. Perhaps we poked, and tweeted, and name-dropped, and tagged him so much that the pressure to perform took it's toll. When someone is a "giver" like Trey was, they give of themselves until it hurts and then they give some more.

But were we giving back to him? Was anyone refilling his tank so to speak?

Did we improve the quality of his life while we expected him to improve the quality of ours?

Did we even say "Thank You" when he responded to our solicitations for "free advice" or did we just move on to the next social media rockstar we could find to pick their brain?

Did we offer to buy him a cup of coffee and try to get to know him as a person? His message when he spoke was always about "Connections" and "Conversation."

Nobody will ever know what demons he battled. Most people aren't even willing to admit that they have demons of their own. Several of the pundits and talking heads have said he was fighting with depression. Maybe so. I don't know. If that was the case, I am pretty sure that it was not the only fight he was in - depression usually brings a couple of "friends" with him when he shows up.

Please do not misunderstand, depression is serious and needs to be treated by a professional. I simply want to point out that too many people gloss over the term without fully understanding the width and depth of the situation that you have to deal with if you are facing depression.

You may say that I am unqualified to write this about him. Well, maybe you are right. I did not know him nearly as well as I should have. I am guilty of not taking the time to get to know him. If I had done so, perhaps I would have had more insight into what he was facing... perhaps not.

Perhaps I should take the time to better know the people in my life that are here now so that I can be a resource for them in their time of need or perhaps they can be a lifeline for me in my time of need. Perhaps you should do the same.

Maybe that will be Trey's legacy. Maybe he will accomplish in death what he tried to accomplish in life... teaching people that it wasn't about the quantity of people you connect to, but the quality of the relationship... it's not about how much you can "get" from someone but how much can you "give" to someone.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends and followers...

No comments:

Post a Comment

As always your comments, questions, and even your rebuttals are welcomed, encouraged, and appreciated.