Pit stop protection

In the playground at my son’s school there is a round blue sign attached to the red brick wall. It says: ‘Friendship Stop. If you are feeling worried about something then stop here, a playground friend will come and have a chat with you.’

Imagine what life would be like if we had ‘friendship stops’ dotted across the country.

You could be walking around having one of those days, trudging through bleak hours where it feels like there is a tight rubber band around your head. An intrusive entity carving grooves onto your brain, felt in tiny, destructive ways. That in time, imprint in monumental, terrifying ways.

Before that rubber band pinged back into the world, before it harmed someone, before it got tighter, you could loosen it at the nearest friendship stop.

We’re grown ups. We can’t have specially designated stops like these. But look around, everywhere, there are people. Look a little closer, and you can see their faces. Their eyes. Find a face you like, and make a friendship stop.

Tell them.

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