In the most recent issue of New York magazine — which features Jon Stewart mugging on the cover — a sidebar stat jumped out at me more than any feature story could.
It compared suicide rates nationally versus those in New York City. (The percentages quoted were per 100,000 population.)
Nation: 11.4 %
New York City 5.7%
(The numbers for Manhattan drop to 5.2% if you take away the out-of-towners who come to our lovely metropolis to off themselves.)
Surprised? I certainly was. I think we all assume that city living is more stressful, and higher stress leads to more thoughts — and acts — of ending it all.
And then you see these numbers.
But then — maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised. Because even if New Yorkers think about ending it all, there is so much here to distract us from taking that final step!
Having a bad day? You can go see a Broadway show!
Life can seems meaningless and without merit…and then you have the opportunity to hear a great writer speak or witness an amazing piece of artwork up close and personal. Even when your world seems small and claustrophobic, you can look around and see the diversity and beauty that is New York City. I’m sure that fact alone saves people every day.