CARRY ON WITH LIFE
Life is a trust and outstanding gift. It is not cheap.
We are unable to make life for ourselves. The best we do is to cherish what we have been given. We did not create or purchase it. Neither do we have all authority over it even if you think otherwise. Many believe life is from God. This opening points to the underlying belief in various societies that life is sacred. Besides, laws in many lands hold it as such.
Until recently, it was strange to applaud suicide in any form. Twentieth century with its bizarre chain of events created large numbers of confused minds and a culture of stones hearts. Hearts stale to prods of conscience. As pervasive as suicide may appear these days, it has not gained any universal acceptance as a way to go.#
In traditional African societies suicide is a taboo. Attempts at suicide attracted all kinds of punishment and ostracism. The individual pays heavy fines. He is marked by all. Nearby villages would identify the family line, and a tab is put on them. Traditional historians would trace their genealogy to confirm whether such suicide is lineal in nature or an isolated case. Confirmation of the earlier would mean that acceptance of marital relationship with such a family will be with great care after extreme vetting. The tag ‘family that commits suicide’ is too toxic to accommodate in communities where everybody knows everybody.
It is worth noting that punishment following attempted suicide is not snappy but long, drudgery episodes. It involves announcements meetings, sacrifices, atonements some resembling Judaic tradition. In some parts of Africa, cleansing of the land includes dragging a goat through the lanes and streets of the community to the ‘evil forest’ that are found in many communities. These procedures are etched in the minds of all and sundry highlighting the consequences if one fails to work hard to carry on with life.
Safety net weaved into the fabrics of the traditional societies among other things appear to reduce if not foreclose rampant cases of suicide. The safety net is built on the fundamental and universal principles of life – be your neighbor’s keeper. It is acted out indeed. Agreed, growth of cities with its attendant separation of man and members of his community has created gaps. However, it seems
a weak clutch to rely that lack of safety net alone in society is responsible for high incidence of suicide in some parts of the world.
A fundamental problem goes deeper than mere categorization of causes. Suicide likely gains its deep root from early orientation of individuals in a society. Early orientation that votes out sincere, reasonable, personal, and communal acceptance in a higher being perhaps bears greater responsibility in this matter.
Also, the society piles up expectations without providing spiritual resort when crisis of life is faced. This refuge is spiritual. You may choose another name you like. Trust and faith in God provides a beacon of hope. It helps one to look forward, seeing the next mileage pillar in life’s turbulent journeys’. It enjoins one to live, not hoping on hope. Rather, insight that the whole world of mankind is cared for each second, minute, hour, day, week, month and year could stabilize troubled minds. The understanding is that an individual is one yet part of the whole. This simple but complex code some have reasoned could help negate the spiral suicide index of western societies.
One surely is aware of many sociological theories of suicide and application of psychological therapies that have not changed so much the pattern over the years in the west. We would not dabble into it. But suffice to note a 2013 report states that every day at least 9 veterans commit suicide in United States of America. It seems that these minds are hurt, disoriented even distorted over time thereby creating psychological conditions that easily lead to suicide. The problem appears not to be the safety net of society per se but bad beginning that fails to give regard to a reasonable spiritual dimension of life.
Some may contend that suicide is also high in Asia than Africa where suffering and living index is low. There may be no current comparative statistics to buoy this claim. But even at the level of conjecture it still reverts us to the issue of society’s early orientation. One may be oriented to die for the king or queen or nobles as the case may be. Or if one becomes a pawn in the chessboard of industrial, financial, religious emperors of today, in the same way people did for ancient kings and emperors, one may align oneself to commit suicide for them too
The beginning of all is rejecting anything that extols the understanding that man is all to himself. Man, should listen to something higher than him. Inherent illogicality that humans can determine what one does with life without recourse to God distracts the mind. It gives it a weak beginning. It begins one on a long journey without end. Only a trigger of stress situation would produce the negative result of suicide.
It is useful to know as the Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and others have espoused that ‘hedonic thread mill’ lifestyle does not correlate with happiness. Material well-being as an escape recipe to suicide is far a-field.
This code outlines the return to some aspects of pristine values that are still relevant to modern living.
Extreme individualism does not agree with happy living.
Do not allow yourself to be used, abused even enslaved by some modern thoughts about prosperity, well-being and happiness.
Understand that one of the powerful laws in the universe is the law of motion.
Things will change.
Things change but it may not be as fast you would want it. No condition is permanent. But we hardly put it to heart in times of crisis.
Please, carry on with life and you will witness positive changes that will startle you. You will soon realize that life is worth living.
As one’s folks used to say, ‘if one wants to commit suicide, one should tell at least a person’
The lesson is that if another person knows that the thought of suicide is in the making, this person in the know will likely ‘shout’ or find a solution. There will be no self-harm.
Shun being an island to yourself in a world of over 7billion persons.
Time will come when you will sigh, “it is good to be alive despite the odds.”
Motivate yourself to carry on with life. As we say here, ‘carry go’.
“Tell at least one person if you are on the road to self-harm. Don’t say you are too far on the road to tell”
Learn more imaife.com
#Not political or religious suicide.