No one wants to talk about it, or even say it out loud. The fact that every 16 minutes an American life is lost to suicide is a fact we just can’t ignore any longer. It’s getting worse and we’re still not talking about it. A disturbing fact is that one in every four students think about killing themselves at some or other stage during their college or university term.
A research study and its findings
A study in 2018 surveyed more than 65, 000 students and an enormous 20% of them either said that they have had suicidal thoughts- or tried committing suicide during the previous year.
These students believe that they have stressors so traumatic that it is difficult to overcome. They reported academic pressures, family problems, intimate relationships, financial problems, sleep difficulties, career issues, appearance- and personal health problems as some of the main stressors.
Researchers found that the rate of students suffering from depression or anxiety is much higher now than it was ten years ago. Drugs and alcohol can make matters worse.
Have you ever thought about suicide?
We know now that it is not uncommon.
9% of the students surveyed in the study mentioned above have already tried to commit suicide once. That is almost 6 000 students. Are you perhaps one of them?
Please read here
Today we start a short series of three blogs here at Largest Heart. It is part of our mission to inform, but also to spread love and hope. We want to bring you some hope through the story of Bucky Fuller.
Bucky Fuller had reasons to be depressed.
His daughter died
Her name was Alexandra, and she died: just before her fourth birthday in 1922. She had complications from spinal meningitis and polio.
Bucky was left with extreme anxiety because he suspected that some of the symptoms of her illness could be traced back to their not-ideal living conditions.
He lost his job
He went on to design compressed bricks that will build lighter, but still sturdy buildings. Bucky Fuller was president of his own company, Stockade, but in 1926 he failed to make a profit.
The company was sold and he was fired as president. There was no savings and a brand new baby at home.
Suicide was an option.
Fuller began drinking heavily. During the autumn of 1927, he concluded that suicide was the only option. His family could gain from his life insurance benefit.
He was 32 and standing on a bridge in Michigan.
Then, something happened that gave purpose to his life. Just as he was thinking to jump, a voice spoke to him.
The voice said:
"You do not belong to you. You don't have the right to take your own life. You belong to the Universe. You are significant, and you have a role to fulfill. You have to use your experiences and intellect to serve others."
It changed Bucky Fuller's life.
Fuller resolved that he could not commit suicide. Instead, he will spend his life to see how one can do more with less. He wanted to help humankind to have more, and he wanted to contribute to humanity.
Richard Buckminster Fuller went on to lecture to thousands of audiences. He met Indira Gandhi and Pierre Trudeau. He spoke at IBM and DuPont and more than 500 educational institutes. He is the author of 28 books.
On the cover of Time magazine
Over 90,000 published works cite Fuller and what he had done with his life. He was on the cover of the Time magazine in 1964.
The voice Bucky Fuller heard came from God.
There was more to be done. His life was precious.
In our next blog, we will tell you what Bucky Fuller did for the rest of his life. All of what he accomplished could have been lost, had he not listened to the Voice on the bridge.
Your life is precious, too.
You too have something to give. Don’t give up.
At Largest Heart, we are committed to helping non-profit organizations associated with suicide to keep up the excellent work. Help us by donating today. There could be more Bucky Fullers out there, ready to jump. Together, we can prevent this.
The Voice made the difference
This is the second blog in our series on Bucky Fuller. In the first one, we told the story of how Fuller heard a voice that changed his life. He went on to do great things, choosing life, instead of suicide.
This is possible for you, too! In this article, we will explore all of the great things that happened to Bucky Fuller when he chose to adhere to the Voice that told him that the best was yet to come.
An inventor from a young age
Bucky was 12 years old when he invented a push-pull system for propelling a rowboat. From this young age already, he was very interested in design and knowledgeable about different materials that he could use.
Although he attended Harvard College, he was expelled twice. The academic world just did not suit him.
His work centered around Synergy
A definition of Synergy
Synergy is the state where two (or more) things work together to produce an effect where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Richard Buckminster Fuller was the person who was responsible for making this a common term.
After he heard the voice on the bridge in Michigan in 1927, he set out to explore how one can do more with less.
Fuller felt that this principle is part of all interactive systems. He thought that one should use fewer resources, but make life easier in the process. He went on to demonstrate his ideas in tangible prototypes.
‘One of the greatest minds of our times’
So what did Bucky Fuller invent or think about?
• He revolutionized construction and improved housing. One of his earliest inventions was the 4D House (later renamed the Dymaxion House). It was a house that was inexpensive, could be mass-produced and airlifted to its location.
• Dymaxion Deployment Units (DDU's) based on circular grain bins, never became popular in the civilian market but were used during WWII to shelter army personnel in remote locations.
• The Dymaxion Car had three wheels and could make incredibly sharp turns.
• The Geodesic Dome. The dome is lightweight, and don't have intrusive supporting systems, and it gives more space than any other structure. Today, there are more than 300,000 geodesic domes in operation around the world, providing shelter and safe structures. Epcot Center, next to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida is the most famous one today.
• In 1927, Fuller already made of a sketch of what he thought to be a ‘one town world.' He pioneered the idea of a ‘global village.' The Dymaxion Map took the idea further and depicted the entire planet as a flat map without distorting the shapes of the continents.
• Bucky Fuller published his own magazine, taught at universities and lived in his very own geodesic dome. He wrote books and discussed his ideas with thousands of audiences. He wrote poems to explain his more complex concepts. He, who was expelled from Harvard, received 47 honorary doctorates in his lifetime.
• In 1983, just before his death, he received the ‘Presidential Medal of Freedom’ honoring and acknowledging his contributions as a designer, geometrician, and educator in America.
Dead at 32?
Bucky Fuller died on the 1st of July at the age of 88. He lived 56 years longer than he planned for on that fateful day on the Michigan Bridge.
If one looks at what he went on to do, it was definitely not part of God's plan to let him jump on that day. Bucky Fuller had so much more to give the world.
Here at Largest Heart, we were inspired by Bucky Fuller's story. He had not yet accomplished that much at the age of 32, but he influenced people in hundreds of ways in the 56 years after that.
Suicide is not an option.
We hope you can see this now. Please talk to someone if you feel overwhelmed. Largest Heart supports a host of non-profits that are able and willing to help. Please contact us or go to our resource page if you need any references or help.
The final episode
This is the third blog in our Bucky Fuller series. Today, we want to shine a light on what Bucky Fuller can teach us. How can you live your life to the best of your abilities? What can we learn from Bucky Fuller?
The Bucky Fuller Legacy
The world needed him.
Bucky Fuller was an inventor, a philosopher, an author, a futurist, an engineer, a teacher, and a poet. He was one of the most original thinkers of the 20th century. Consider the name of his 1969 book: "Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth." It sure was forward thinking!
The world needs you
There is this cheesy saying: ‘You might think you just someone in the world, but to someone, you might just be the world.’
Notwithstanding that this is true in its own right; it can also be taken a step further: it might just be that the world needs someone like you. The world needed Bucky Fuller.
What can we take from this? How can we become better persons by reflecting on Bucky Fuller’s story? Here are a few ideas.
1. Suicide is not an option.
Life can change
Where there is life, there is hope. For you, your problem might look paralyzing. Keep in mind, though, that regardless of your situation, everything can change. The pain you feel won’t last forever. Things can improve.
Bucky Fuller’s situation looked bleak. A voice spoke to him. Let this blog be your voice today.
There are such a lot of resources available to help you! All you can do is try your best every day. Remember, with patience, persistence, and commitment, you can address your problems.
2. A college education is not everything.
Fuller achieved so much without a college education.
If you think about it, your parents and loved ones will rather just have a happy you, than a stressed out unhappy person with a college education.
Don’t listen to your negative thoughts. It is often exaggerated and not based in reality. Try to face your current situation and decide if solutions can be found.
If not, speak to your campus counselor and your parents about options that are available to you. It might just be that you will achieve much in life without a college education.
3. The value of following your dreams
What Bucky did
Bucky Fuller held 28 patents, authored 28 books and received numerous honorary degrees. He solved global problems in housing, shelter, transportation, energy, and poverty. He influenced countless architects, designers, scientists, and artists.
What are your dreams? What can you do to provide more synergy in other people’s lives? Make it your motto to follow your dreams.
4. Your life is not your own
Take this one thing with you.
If there is only one thing that you take with you from Bucky Fuller’s story, it should be that your life is not your own.
You may never have heard an audible voice telling you that at a crucial time in your life, but it is the message of God. He made you and divinely created you. He gave Bucky his talents, but in the same way, He also gave you yours. He is not yet finished with you.
Our message at Largest Heart is one of HOPE. We know there is a bright light inside of you and we want it to shine. The universe needs it! At times, it can feel that it’s barely a flicker and we need you to know there is help, to get you to tomorrow. We just need your light to stay on. I wanted to share the incredible life and story of Bucky Fuller and take from it a special message: You are unique, you are beautiful, and you are loved! You have something to give to the world so please let your light shine, the universe needs you, Largest Heart needs YOU!
If you or someone you know needs help, please call:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at: 1-800-273-8255
Additional resources: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) OR
TEXT TELEPHONE: 1-800-799-4889
MILITARY & VETERANS: 1-800-273-TALK (PRESS OPTION #1)
SUICIDE HOTLINE SPANISH: 1-800-273-TALK (PRESS OPTION #2)
LGBT YOUTH: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR
NEED HELP NOW? CALL 911