No to Suicide; But do we Mean it?

One characteristic of the millennials is a rising case of depressed people in real life but who are so happy online. When you see the posts seeking our attention on Instagram, Facebook, and disappointingly, on Twitter, you can easily conclude that we are happy people. You can think you are the odd one out because the reality at a personal level and what we see bombarding us on the media are incongruent.

With this depressions have come rising suicide cases. According to WHO, More than 700 000 people die by suicide every year. This is one person every 40 seconds.  This makes suicide the 17th killer in the world. Though a lot of factors can lead to suicide, the following have been highlighted with much weight:
Academic performance
Physical condition
Mental health and well-being
Economic standing
Financial struggles
Workplace performance
Overall life satisfaction

I think these are not strange things. They reflect the same things we struggle with daily. There is a pressure to achieve something, and if it does not come as desired, life loses meaning, and many find a shortcut in death.

History is dark with suicide cases.  If you are familiar with Biblical passages, you can remember the story of King Saul (in 1010 BCE); after being cornered on Mount Gilboa, he resorted to suicide. Judas Iscariot also resorted to Suicide when confronted by the hard facts of betraying a sacred trust. But I think the mysterious one is the mass suicide of the Heaven’s Gate Cult in 1997. Marshall Applewhite, the founder of this cult, presumably using the Bible, convinced his disciples that he, together with his assistant Bonnie Nettles, were the two witnesses recorded in Revelation chapter 11. They further convinced them that death was a means of getting to high existence, bringing about the mass suicide of 39 people in San Diego. It is ridiculous that Applewhite used the Bible to break the sixth commandment. Many people are reading their opinions into the Bible today too, and I guess the results will even be much worse. Are you reading the Bible? How readest thou?

One thing is clear about the suicide cases so far. The victims resort to suicide as a means of escaping the realities of life or gaining something that life has not allowed them to acquire. A student who cannot maintain the expected standard resorts to death to escape the possible censure and ridicule from the big people. Young people who have been served a breakup note settle on death as a way of escaping the reality of rejection or being dumped by the people they loved. So, none of the suicide victims loves death for its own sake, but it is a means to end. They don’t love death, but they are willing to acquire something, even if it means going through death. Death is not the end but a means to an end.

Maybe someone is lost. I don’t want to make the mistake of assuming that everyone understands what suicide means. Suicide, defined, is the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally (Merriam Webster’s Dictionary). Suicide is synonymous with self-destruction, self-murder, and self-slaughter. I especially like the synonyms. To be more specific, the first one; self-destruction. It helps us catch up with many self-murderers who typically get excused. Could you be suicidal without knowing? You see, it must not be an instantaneous act. Some people commit slow suicide. It is like the arsenic poison that kills slowly but surely.

This can be humorous, but it will be taken seriously. I once heard a keen preacher describing sinners as self-murderers. Holding the Pauline description of the wages of sin to bem death, he concluded that anyone who deliberately sins is committing suicide. It may be done slowly, but eventually, they will die because they plant seeds of death in their life. Well, I got my lesson from this piece, and you can as well pick something.

So what is the solution?

For me, it is to look at the source of the problem. The problem is not death, for we are not immortal. People fear death more than anything. But life’s problems make death less painful.  Some four lepers, confronted by a reality of a marauding famine in the City of Samaria and rejection by their families dared to hustle for food at the enemy’s camp with the assurance, “If we remain here we will die, and if the Syrians kill us we will only but die.” The statement ‘only but die’ is of great significance. It means the emergency at hand is too great that death is a small thing. This is a classical case study of how desperation drives people to suicide. I should repeat this: Those who commit suicide do not do so because they love death, but because something pushes them to the extent that death is seen as a small thing.

Early this week, somebody informed me of something that resonated well with my concerns about solving suicide cases. In his report, a young man in high school, the son of a thriving engineer, committed suicide because of his girlfriend’s issue. In his pursuit of love and acceptance, death was a small thing, and he found it an easy exit plan.

Having seen the significant causes of suicide, a month or a day is not enough to talk about it. While we can satisfactorily reserve one day to celebrate independence, we cannot do the same for this irrevocable menace. Even a month is not enough. How do you solve academic pressure in one day, a month or a year? What about mental health and economic issues? Can a simple shout out bring a lasting solution?

We must find a way of helping people. Parents must realise the power of psychosocial support. After paying the tuition money, let parents have time to talk to their children about other life issues. Let society teach people how to handle failure. Whereas we cannot celebrate failure, let us remind those who fail that their entire usefulness is not to be defined by that one moment. They can rise again and make a difference. In most cases, people lack a hand that can lift them and a shoulder to lean on. Let us find out what means a lot to people around us and try making it available.

The economy can be tricky and unbearable, but we must get up and make people realise that it can always be done. We must find problems that suit our skills, and we then qualify to get other people’s money. There is always something that can be done. We must not give up too soon.

In short, to win the battle over suicide, we must find out ways of redefining the value of human life. We must not wait to come to people asking them to shy away from death when they have moved to the point of having death as the only option left. Instead, we must ensure they don’t move to the point of including death in their options.

We must ensure that the seeds of death that are being planted in peoples’ lives never sprout. Let us tell people about healthy lifestyles. Let us call them out of toxic relationships. Let the students know that they must not feel bad after putting in their best efforts, and their best efforts should always be good enough despite what society thinks.

It is not suicide per see, but the harvest of the seeds planted slowly but surely. If we mean that we are out to prevent suicides, then let us get back on redefining abundant life. Let ensure the seeds of death do not germinate.

18 thoughts on “No to Suicide; But do we Mean it?

  1. Potent.
    Its high time we close the curtains on our stained glass masquarade.Accept we are humans who undergo challanges and work our way through it and of cause and all the broken have the open invitation to be healed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As an ambassador of suicide prevention and awareness, my take away is “Those who commit suicide do not do so because they love death, but because something pushes them to the extent that death is seen as a small thing”

    Dealing with that ‘something’ at its tender age can be helpful…
    Thanks for the piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Clean work. I once learnt that suicide solves nothing, life is lost but the problem being ran away from still remains unsolved . Suicide is like a scapegoat but it was never coming back after being released 😪. Let’s rise against suicidal thoughts leave alone the act itself and talk over it more often than not and help those who might have resolved to settle on the same .

    Liked by 1 person

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