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Meet the Australian Who’s Saved 160 People from Suicide

I stumbled across this online and I just had to share. It's so so very inspiring! I know it's not something I would typically post on the blog but some things are just so good you want to share! Plus I wouldn't feel as though it would get the necessary recognition that it deserves! I know you'll be pleased by it! To know people like this really exist is amazing! (source)





Man Lives on cliff and talks down suicide jumpers for last 50 years
Don Ritchie lives across the street from the most famous suicide spot in Australia: A cliff known as “The Gap.” Most people would move, but Ritchie’s stayed for almost 50 years—saving an estimated 160 people from suicide.

So what’s his big secret? Ritchie wakes up every morning and looks out the window for “anyone standing alone too close to the precipice.” If he sees someone who looks like they might be contemplating a jump, he walks over and… strikes up a conversation. He just gives them a warm smile, asks if they’d like to talk and invites them back to his house for tea. Sometimes, they join him. “I’m offering them an alternative, really,” Ritchie says. “I always act in a friendly manner. I smile.”

Ritchie’s house might be the worst real estate ever. One person a week commits suicide at the “the Gap,” the cliff he lives across from. It’s protected only by a small, one-meter fence, despite its legendary reputation as a suicide spot dating back to the 1800s.

But the former life insurance salesman says he doesn’t feel “burdened” by the fact that people are always contemplating jumping to their deaths outside his house. In fact, he and his wife Moya see it as a blessing: “I think, ‘Isn’t it wonderful that we live here and we can help people?’” Ritchie, who basically sounds like the nicest guy in the entire world, is 84, and has spent much of the last year battling cancer. But, as you might expect for a dude who’s managed to live across from a f---ed-up, tragic place, and not become a casualty himself, he’s optimistic: “I imagine somebody else will come along and do what I’ve been doing.” I hope so.

20 comments:

  1. wow, thank you for sharing such an amazing story. it really is beautiful how he saved all those people. i hope he gets a chance to do it many more times in the future.

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  2. I read about this guy a little while ago after my Mum told me about him - his story is so amazing. He's incredible.

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  3. This is the sweetest thing ever. What a selfless, honest man - thank god he's been living there, i hope whoever lives there next carries on too!

    Danni
    xxx

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  4. That story makes me strangely happy. Thank you for sharing.

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  5. This world needs more people in the world like him. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  6. What an incredible story! He really must be a very special person. I heard a really interesting story on npr around a year ago about a man who had a similar story. He patrols the great wall of china regularly and does his best to talk them down. I'll have to find a link and get back to you!

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  7. I read this story some time last year and found it to be one of the most endearing things I have ever came across. I couldn't get it out of my head for days. He is truly one of God's angels.

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  8. Amazing!... I live in Australia and I am really surprised I haven't heard about this before. What a wonderful caring man.I think I'll look for more info on this man and the cliff. Thankyou for sharing.

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  9. That's insane. I wouldn't be able to do that. It would be too hard, considering all the people that do jump. But I am so glad someone is. He's amazing. :)

    -April

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  10. oh my gosh what an amazing man for doing that. that makes my heart smile :)

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  11. that's really sweet. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. The song On The Edge Of A Cliff by The Streets is based on a story (perhaps this one) similar to this. It's wonderful.

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  13. sometimes people only need a stranger to talk with. You can have problems that you can't share with your friends and family but just talking about it you can find a solution or just look at the situation with some distance and not in an emotional way.
    Fortunately this man is there to be the good stanger!

    Sorry for my bad english, but I'm italian =)
    if you want you can look my blog http://modperprincipianti.blogspot.com

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  14. great post!! and very inspiring!!! love reading stuff like this!! thanks x

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  15. Thank you for sharing. It's always so nice to hear about the redeeming qualities of humanity, instead of doom and gloom. This man is a really special person and he's filling a need. I really hope that someone steps in and takes over when he's unable to.

    http://one-girl-vs-world.blogspot.com

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  16. Thank you for sharing this story! At a time when it's more common to find people acting selfishly in all aspects of their life, it's refreshing that this man has taken it upon himself to give hope to those who are in the direst states of mind. Very inspirational!

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  17. A guardian Angel in his own right. Thank you for sharing.

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  18. This is such a fantastic story. What a lovely man! It is such an inspiring story. Thanks for sharing it lovely.

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  19. Its so heart breaking how many people jump from the Gap each day, and year, its actually a really beautiful spot, we are lucky to have such a beautiful man like that, looking out for others.

    They also have a telephone near the spot, so people can call up a trained professional, councilor line, to talk to somebody if they need to talk.
    sadly alot of spots along the east coast of Australia, have notorious spots like this, its rare to visit a lookout without flowers, plaques and love notes written on the small wooden railings :(
    Unfortunately, one Christmas day I witnessed a lookout jump in my town, and it still haunts me to this day,it just all happened so fast, that it still breaks my heart that nobody could talk to her, when she needed it.

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