LETTER TO THE EDITOR – And so I think… I think about suicide. Yes, not in a manner that would cause any to have reason to wonder about me, but to wonder about us, about a generation so socially filtered, socialized in a fashion that has reconstructed the basic facets of our social being and ultimately our social necessities.
Unconsciously, we have consciously networked ourselves and purposefully categorized our socializations in a manner that excludes certain “seemingly unfitting” individuals within our society. And so while I think about suicide and more so the persons guilty of committing the “oh so ungodly” act, the question pops vividly in my mind… “Is suicide purely an individual act, or is it a case of social neglect?”
Now, whatever the case might be, which would be more effective in terms of curbing the increases in the rate of suicide: Would it be finding some sort of remedy that focuses on the individual, or one that focuses on remedying our socialization as human beings (which is one social circle that all of us form a part of)?
As you will have noticed, my writing this season has taken a plunge into the direction of relationships and I will draw some much needed attention to suicide and look at it from both a literal and figurative perspective; as well as from a physical and spiritual standpoint.
Forging relationships can be as easy as simply accidentally sitting next to total stranger at a game show. All that is required is some budding commonality and for two parties decide to allow a flower; whatever the flower, to emerge. It takes little effort for a relationship to commence and little effort likewise, for it to vanish into thin air. Therefore, maintenance needs to be done to ensure the longevity of relationships.
For many reasons than one, relationships take routes that lead to pitfalls and these are possible leaders for suicides. But permit me to redirect my thoughts to draw a point. Our society is so structured, that one individual, A, for a particular reason has the capacity to bud relationship with another individual, B, yet, for the same reason, the individual, A, does not have the capacity to develop a relationship with another individual, C.
But…Why? You may ask! Are we not all “brothers” and “sisters” of the same faith? Are we not all human beings on the same earth? Are we not all of the same school or class? Are we not all living in the same community? The answer may be yes, but there exists what mathematicians would call “variables” in every situation.
These variables, with the absence of perceptions, stereotypes, prejudices etc., would be non-existent. Imagine every individual dealing with every other individual as if there was no database of variables. It would be such like one individual viewing every other individual as if there was a whole book of empty pages. But of course, we are not beings of such height, or maybe not as yet. When we look at the reality, even in our own lives, the person we may have little to no contact with at all, we would have already gathered and recorded some sort of idea about that individual. This brings me to budding relationships.
Due to our automatic ability to gather and record, subconsciously, several ideas about individuals based on their race, speech, attire, company, height, behavior, and so many more factors, we therefore categorize them, and inadvertently categorize ourselves. We would think that based on the information we have gathered, certain people will or will not fall into “our section”, “our
caliber”. This is just what makes us a suicidal generation. About eight years ago, I was hailed at by a young man. He was not dressed up, and if you came close enough to him, you would have probably fainted as you breathed in the air around him. His hair was short but not trimmed, neither plaited. He was just roaming the street, but that day in question, he hailed up at me.
I acknowledged him right away “Yes I.” This is when he ran up to me and said, “Wow, my girl, I always seeing you in town and I want to say hello but I thought you would not answer me.” I asked him why he didn’t greet me when he had seen me before. He said that every “nice” girl he greeted would not greet him back and would cause him shame.
I realized two interesting things in this little experience with the young man. He had a perception of me that caused him to fear greeting me; thus causing him to halt his own socialization. The other thing was that the perception that others had of him, caused him to be treated in a negative manner, which took him to a place where he thought that he was not fit to socialize with certain individuals.
We would all agree that we are social beings and we need socialization to thrive. For many of us, we are not as privileged as others to fall into the relevant social networks that permit us to thrive as we should, for the same reason as stated earlier. We filter certain people out and so we cause them to dive into the seas of depression, loneliness, guilt, insufficiency, and ultimately suicide; social suicide, physical suicide, spiritual suicide. We so neglect them, that even when all the cues of suicide should be obvious, we miss them. Ultimately, we, as a society, who have caused the suicide, wonder how was the suicide possible and why would it even happen.
So again I ask, whatever the case might be, which would be more effective in terms of curbing the increases in the rate of suicide? Would it be finding some sort of remedy that focuses on the individual; or would it be one that focuses on remedying our socialization as human beings, part of one large social circle?
Maybe we can seek direction from the book of life; the bible. 1 Corinthians 12:25 reads, “that there be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” Think about equality among a generation, among a people that boldly declares Christianity; “that the members should have the same (the same) care one for another.”
Are you a culprit responsible for someone’s suicide? Maybe you are living but another is dying. Let us be actively involved in changing our society from being this suicidal generation!!!