Friday, July 27, 2007

Honor of the Ancients

When someone commits suicide in today's society it's most often looked upon as a horrible event, especially among religious people, who think the act is a one way ticket to the fires of hell. Many times, the person doing the deed has been suffering for a long time with internal struggles which were just too difficult to overcome, be it a mental illness or a shame that he has not been able to rid himself of. When the individual reaches this point and takes that step there are always people who will say things like "If I'd only known I would have tried to help him". Most of them are lying. How many people do you know who will go out of their way to befriend someone with a mental illness? Even if it's someone they know fairly well. No, this person is an embarrassment to them, even though they may make an attempt at a casual friendship, it takes a very special person to go the extra mile and try to provide this person with the help and comfort they really need.
I think that probably the suicidal person knows that his friends aren't really going to stick with him, and in fact most of them would probably be relieved to be able to say "I wish I could have helped him" rather than actually making a commitment before things reached that climax. The stigma of shame associated with suicide is really unfair to the victim's name and to his family. Especially to his family, as they have to grieve for their loss and also have the added burden of shame which society levels at them.

In the olden days of the Samauri in Japan taking one's life was sometimes almost a heroic act. Certainly not something seen as the "cowards way out" as it is today, but an honorable way to bow out without disgrace. I'm certainly not condoning suicide as a means to solving problems, but I would like to see the veil of shame lifted on behalf of those individuals who had problems so massive that they resorted to this means. I choose just to say a prayer for their souls and their families, and I hope that, if the circumstance arose, I would be able to recognize and help a person on the edge, contemplating that final step.


Blogger Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Tim,

I couldn't agree more! Nobody can know what someone goes through, not really, and what pushes them to the final act -- whether it be love, money, or other trouble. I think God understands everything and don't worry about judgment except from other people. I'm sure if the circumstances arose, you'd be a great help to someone in need!

12:20 PM  
Blogger Cheri said...

I've known a lot of people who have killed themselves.. and thought about it myself. The impact it would have on my family is probably the only reason I hadn't done it.

10:04 PM  

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