There was a man who struggled terribly with thoughts of suicide. He fought them, but tragically, after six years of fighting he succumbed and ended his life.
His mother was beside herself with grief. But more than that, she was angry. In her frustration she kept saying “what a wasted life!”
But she was wrong.
He was suicidal for six years before he actually killed himself, which means that for six years he fought this monster. He fought like a lion, and for six years he was successful in refusing to kill himself. To stand up to such a demon is not easy. But every time he refused he became holier.
But not only did he get holier, every time he refused to kill himself he weakened that evil impulse for everybody in the world. Because he said no over and over again to the temptation of killing himself, everyone else who struggles with this affliction will now have a little easier time saying no to that temptation. Every time he said no, the demon of suicide shrunk. We all live in the same bubble and when a person does something good on one side of the world, it helps everybody in the world be better.
A man who refuses to kill himself for six years despite the temptation is a hero. Even though after six years it wore him down.
Imagine a soldier defending a position against the enemy. He defends it successfully for six years but eventually he runs out of bullets and falls. Was that a wasted life? Certainly not.
The man’s a hero.
In our lives, we all tend to underestimate our own contribution to the world. You don’t have to win it all to make the world a better place. Every small victory against the temptations of evil, even just a delay, makes the world a better place.