A Conversation Can Change a Life

We get a lot of positive feedback about our work. But it’s not every week we read words like this:

“18 people in a conference room in stunned amazement of the beauty we were sharing is a marvelous thing. 10 of the 18 cried at some point.”

The author of this feedback, Todd V. Call, is a civilian employee of the US Air Force. He’s describing a “task that came down from Air Force HQ….to meet with our teams and talk about suicide. I was nominated (not volunteered, volun-told) to do the presentation.” 

My letter to you today is an appeal for your generosity. Each week in this email, we give you a sense of the impact your money makes. Today is no different–as I ask for your gift, I want to show you how our work is changing lives! 

The rest of Todd’s story, used with his generous permission: “Here is how most trainings go around here: 1) No one goes to any training voluntarily; 2) they are almost always presented by a retired military member whose skill lies more in fixing jet fighters than in training of any kind; 3) no one speaks, not when asked a general, open-ended question.”

“With very little editing, I took your Empathy Conversation and presented it. I kept all the time-frames the same and encouraged brevity. Here are a few of the comments I heard at the end:

  • Involved and intense discussion.
  • Best training I ever had in 22 years.
  • You hear hearts in this.
  • I don’t do this. (Said by a crying grumpy retired sailor pointing to his eyes)
  • This has brought me that much closer to all of you.
  • An amazing talk.

Everyone was surprised how “real” the conversation got. Nearly all of us shared about a friend, family member or coworker who took their own life or was seriously considering it. Some were bold enough to say they were in therapy for that very reason. Some said “I had the belt on my neck.” 

We are grateful to you for the generosity that helps us do this work. Please consider making a gift to Living Room Conversations this week. Thank you so much!

Beth Raps, PhD
Development Partner