May 27, 2004

On Suicide

Suicide is a very good thing. It serves as a method for voluntarily detaching oneself from their own suffering, and in some situations, it could be quite a useful tool as well as a warranted option. Say you're lost in the desert, and you have a broken leg. The bone protruding from the fracture actually punctured through your skin, and you've already lost a fair amount of blood. It already looked infected, you're in excruciating pain, and you sincerely feel you have no chance of ever being found before it's too late. However, you have a pistol on your belt, with only a single bullet left. What would you rather do? Shoot it into the sky and hope someone is around to hear it and investigate, or relieve your misery on the spot by shooting yourself? In this type of situation, and in many others, I would opt to do away with myself. Otherwise, chances are great I'd end up slowly wasting away until I finally die ... and who desires to endure that kind of displeasure? ...A situation doesn't even have to be this hypothetical, either. If someone has to struggle with genuine pain day after day, with no foreseen respite, and little to no pleasure or meaning in their lifestyle as a result of this perpetual pain, I might recommend suicide. ..Or maybe get their loved one to put them to sleep. Everyone has the capability to commit suicide. It's a gift we should all not entirely deny perhaps having to make use of someday. It's a basic right we should all defend. Just like life. Of course, those of certain religions are against suicide, and I understand that, but that's their issue to untangle, not mine. There are those who believe that taking your own life before God is positively sinful. As far as I'm concerned, though, nature is indifferent to my suffering, and there isn't a higher power up there on the celestial stage that could give a damn and a half about whether I make an early exit. Far too often does religion's influence eclipse prudence.

I can respect those who successfully commit suicide, as long as they do it with some class. Id est, they used their courage and determination to go through with it, rather than relying on mind-altering substances to facilitate the process, and left well-written notes to their loved ones explicating precisely why they had to leave them. Conversely, I'd have little to no respect for someone who decided to shoot psychoactive chemicals into his veins and drink up the bar then deliberately OD himself so he can make his parents grieve for his loss and make his loved ones "pay." I have positively no respect, not to mention absolute abhorration, for those who perpetually whine about killing or hurting themselves just to seek a little attention, when they themselves know they'll probably never actually go through with it. That reflects the entirely negative nuance about suicide that so many people pick up these days. The entire concept is just too trendy among young teenagers, now. Showing interest in suicide, of some form, is practically a fashion statement.

I shall never even consider suicide for myself, though, unless I am placed in a truly dire situation such as the one I mentioned. The life I lead now is going so comparatively grand, I couldn't even imagine doing away with myself. I honestly believe that a million people (well, way more than that) out there would kill to live the sort of lifestyle I do, so killing myself would be quite a waste and a disappointment to myself. However, keep in mind that there are those who have it far worse than any of us do, so you should be more cautious than to act self-righteous and tell them suicide is cowardly and wrong. Think a little more abroad. Just how far on the "terrible" side of the spectrum have any of us gotten relative to others on this planet?

For reasons already discussed, suicide is not always a "cowardly" way to die. How is making use of a convenient method to relieve yourself of pain and agony an act of cowardice? In that case, wouldn't taking some tylenol to relieve a headache also be a "cowardly" thing to do? I could formulate a long list of situations where suicide would be an applicable, practical, and wise option, but I have better things to do with my day.

But before I go, I noticed someone mention on a forum discussion the other day that "suicide isn't natural." Who's to say suicide isn't natural? What is it, then, artificial? Do they have to implant little chips in our bodies in order for it to be a possibility? And who's to say it doesn't occur in nature every damn day? How can one claim that an animal has never committed suicide because it thought doing away with itself was in its best interests? No matter what science implies to you, I feel you'd do best not to believe in it to that extent. The margin for error is simply too wide. Erroneous assumptions are continuously made. Like religion, science is interesting to study, but I can't necessarily say I personally believe much of the theories it has to offer.

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