Thinking Your Way Through a Labyrinth of Contemporary Issues
The subject of suicide is a pretty sensitive topic, and my aim here is not to downplay the various problems people face that eventually leads them to take their own lives such as bullying, depression and shame. But rather I want to show that committing suicide doesn’t solve anything and in fact makes things worse for the person (in the afterlife) and for the people close to the person.
I personally haven’t had someone close to me commit suicide, and have never had suicidal thoughts so it is a bit hard for me to relate to people who are suicidal, but I feel very strongly that committing suicide is not a good thing to do. However, I have spoken with some people online who had suicidal thoughts or knew suicidal people. And I usually feel so powerless to shift that person’s thinking to more positive things, though I try.
As an example, I had been talking to this girl who was quite depressed about her life that she wanted to commit suicide if she didn’t get a 2.1 in her English degree (thank God she did get a 2.1). A bit of context: she’s atheist but comes from a muslim family, and her father abuses her emotionally and physically. She felt that if she didn’t get a 2.1 then she would be good for nothing, as she claims she has no looks and nothing else going for her. It was saddening to hear about her position. I gave her encouragement in writing her final dissertation which helped spur her on with that and she ended up with a 2.1 classification overall. She’s managed to get some work at a call centre so at least she is starting to get some measure of independence, so I can only hope life gets better for her now.
I was inspired to write this article when I found out about a Facebook post where a girl mentions her mother who committed suicide. The girl and her family aren’t angry with the mother as she had been dealing with depression for many years, and the girl is proud of her mother for having dealt with these negative emotions for so many years. Personally I found this post quite shocking as in my opinion taking one’s life always sounded like giving up, and so isn’t a sign of strength.
From any perspective you wish to look at about committing suicide, it looks like a really bad idea. Let’s say that you believe that this world is all there is. So, once you commit suicide then that’s it, your existence is gone. Any potential you had goes to waste and all those possible life experiences (marriage, children, grandchildren, music, art, laughter and fun) will never come to pass. This is added to the fact that back in this world your history will always be marred by your suicide, and your family and friends will have to put the pieces of their lives back together without you. If you are more religious and believe in an afterlife, this is what happens to the person who commits suicide in Islam: you essentially repeatedly commit suicide in the fashion you committed. Or go to hell. Either way there’s no happy ending.
I believe we are never given any burdens we cannot cope with in this life, so there is always a solution to whatever challenges we are facing be they bullying, financial debts, shame and depression. Here is a fantastic article I came across where the author explains how she overcame her depression. Taking one’s life is one of the most selfish acts we are capable of committing, and the reason people do it is because for that one moment they are in full control of their life which makes it extremely tempting. There is no happy ending and there is much more to life than the burdens we are faced with every day, so we should try to appreciate the good things in our lives and all the love we get from the people around us. More importantly, we should remember that our self isn’t the most important thing but rather our relationship with God is.
Mohammed Wilkinson, (2015)