13 November 2018
Dear Mrs. Picoult,
Frequently, I tend to see things with tunnel vision; my perspective and only my perspective. However, your book, The Pact, allowed me to have a more open mind about situations that surround my life daily and why one would think things differently than I do. Acquiring such a new perspective on life allowed me to develop and maintain a more open mind, which I now find to be crucial when living in a functional society.
I have never been suicidal. In fact, I have always questioned why some people would want to end their life. What thoughts were roaming through their head when they made such a decision? Your book reminded me some of the reasons I already knew about, but also presented reasons I have never considered. You allowed me to explore different ideas of suicide. Such a strong topic is not, and cannot, be just black or white; there are so many aspects that go into a desire for such an act. I learned from your book that there are ways to indicate whether or not a person is serious about killing oneself. Everyday actions or feelings one carries out can explain more than what people see on the surface. Such an idea is usually in the back of my mind; I feel as though I should be careful with the things I say and the words I choose when attempting to express a thought. However, after reading your book, I suddenly felt that I wasn’t doing enough.
I live what many people would call a luxurious life. I have a roof over my head, food on the table, a loving family and availability to an education. As a person that lives a comfortable life, it aches me to think about those who are suffering; for whatever reason it is. I know of many people around me who have anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder as well as other mental illnesses. Often, I find those people attempting to put up a facade to cover their true emotions. A smile on their face to disguise the sadness they feel within, struggling to make it until the end of the day. In the past, I have tried to cheer some people up, talk to teachers about their well-being or just show any sign or concern and support for that person. However, after I finished your book, I can’t help but feel that that is not enough.
As a result, I would happily inform you that I joined many mentally positive clubs at my school. I became the vice president of a community service club, always giving back to those who need the help. I am also an active member in a club called Democratic Discourse. In the club we discuss the things happening in our community today and what changes need to be made to ensure the best future for those in society. This year we are focusing on schools. Often, I find ideas of suicide, feelings of depression and unhappiness arise from the school climate. Though it can be friendly and some teachers can be welcoming, it is not always the case. Students attend school to learn, not to feel unhappy with themselves. Like me, I find that school also has tunnel vision. It focus’ on the students futures, colleges, extracurricular activities, etc. Ironically enough, at times I feel that there is not enough attention given to the students actually attempting to achieve those goals.With such a college based preparation program presented throughout the curriculums, often times there are students that can not handle all the assignments, projects, homeworks, activities, class dues along with family well-being, self love, relaxing, and keeping friendships. When one side of a personal health triangle begins to collapse, the other parts follow its lead. Being in Democratic Discourse, I feel that if I bring enough attention to such a serious problem, then reform is possible.
So thank you for writing such an amazing, eye-opening novel. The Pact was not only enchanting within the plot itself, but sparked a passion within me for helping people in ways I could never have imagined before. I feel that suicide is a problem currently and has been in the past. If it is not addressed, then people will not be aware of the possible solutions to the heartbreaking choice. Every person makes a difference. A small nod, a compliment or even just smiling at someone can change a person’s attitude. Kindness is vital. Due to your novel, my goal is to make the public not only aware of this problem, but more importantly, its solutions.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.