Suicide: a different perspective

Suicide is considered as sin, irrespective of region, culture and religion. Killing own-self means the society, the family and the overall system are losing a productive person – which is not allowed. We are not permitted to kill ourselves because we do not own our lives. And why, above all, taking your own-life is considered cowardice? Nahid Riyasad illuminates a different perspective of suicide.

31649906713_b749b019f2_bWe live in such a complex social system, unlike other animals of this planet, which allows us many things as well as restricts us from a plethora of others. Living within this system of intricate social structure, makes us less of an owner of our lives. We do not possess the power to come in this world at our will, neither are we allowed to decide the time of our departure; as if, being strangulated in this abyss of imposed reality of a superior being is our only destiny. Despite these inevitable shackles, there are many human beings, who have, for a wide variety of reasons, have taken their lives. Notwithstanding, irrespective of society, time culture and religion-they have committed a grave crime, they have defied the pre-destination, they have rejected their time of death set by the nature.

Living in a society means we have to be restricted by many norms and taboos – suicide is one such taboo. In any culture, religion or time, suicide is regarded as utter disregard to the society, family and most importantly, to own-self. But, through a fair pair of eyes and unburdened mind from social-conceptions, is suicide such a bad thing? Is talking your own life such a disregard? Is practicing absolute power over own life such a crime? If so, then, why is that?

As mentioned earlier, we do not own our life, rather, we take care of ourselves so that we can come in use of our family and the society. Sounds uncomfortable and irritating, right? Society needs an extra pair of working hands, our parents feed that extra mouth only in hope of a return in older age. And at deep down, we are nothing but a breeding-dying animal, who have created this complex society only to breed in a secured system.

As an individual, with my age, I have started to understand the system of this world, how societies work, how religion manipulates practices and human minds, how racial differences work and most importantly, how ordinary people are bought for cheap labour, in order to make that one per cent even richer. Now, couple that with all the wars, violence and intolerance – a deadly combination, where, I doubt, any sane person would want to live. What do we do after all the calculations? Yes, you guess this right, we breed, only to present the eternal suffering to a new being, to a newborn child, which was not-existent moments before.

I have always had a different notion about suicide, despite my social teachings. I think that suicide is nothing to be hated, because this is the only time in a human’s life when that person can take a decision about life. Let us be simple – we cannot decide on when to come but we can on when to go. I am not advocating death or suicide, rather, I would like to say that a person should have that kind of liberty, in any humane society, to end own life, irrespective of reasons.

Euthanasia is a controversial term these days, at least in northern European countries. This word comes from Greek, which roughly translates to ‘good death’. Euthanasia means ending a life in order to reduce suffering or pain. This is actually allowed to patients who are in excruciating pain and has less chance of getting better. Netherlands and Belgium have legalised such practices, however, without proper order from the court and the authority, taking your own life is still considered criminal offence. This is a clear indication that suicide is nothing to be hated, there could be logical reasons for a person to commit suicide.

Now, in modern world, we do have standards to measure or understand bodily pain. How about the eternal suffering of meaninglessness of life? How about the ache of storing the painful memories and re-living them? How about the discomforts of leading the tedious monotonous life years after years? There is no such scale to measure these pains, neither is there any solution, except indulging in all the trivialities of life. But there is a way, should one choose to end his or her life, at will, without any remorse or guilt.

A major problem of suicide is that these decisions of suicide come on a very fragile and vulnerable moment of one’s life. People fail in love, education, business and sometimes they fail their family and most importantly, themselves. When people commit suicide as a sign of failure, then the real problem arises. Suicide is considered as an action of escapement, from the realities and turmoil of life. Committing suicide is cowardice, suicide is escapist and suicide is the lack of courage. Now, is this true? How many people, under any circumstance, has the courage to take own life? Not many, right?

Throughout the history, many great minds of literature, music and social reform, have committed suicide. Among many, Earnest Hemingway and Sylvia Plath are two, who had attempted at least three times and only gained successions on the last time. Many great literary minds have romanticised suicide, in many forms and situations.

Despite discussion about suicide, this is not easy to commit one or even tolerate. In my university life, I and my best friend used to fantacise about suicide, inspired by Tolstoy’s greatest creation Anna Karenina. At a vulnerable point of her life, she attempted suicide, in front of me. Despite being an avid supporter of suicide, I could not allow her to die. This is where we fall short, in love of life, to live another day on this ‘beautiful’ world, we continue, we let others continue as well, to accompany us on this perilous journey called life.

Another aspect to shed light on is that people do not always commit suicide because they have failed. I can remember a news from my childhood where, a group of late-teenagers in Netherlands have committed suicide because they have achieved everything in life thus their reason to live have ended. Often, those who have nothing to achieve or have excess money to buy anything in this world, suffer from acute depression which leads to suicide. So, over achievement might come out as dangerous, too.

This write-up does not encourage suicide, neither it suggests suicide as the ultimate solution to all the problems our nihilistic minds deal with. I have always been a free-thinker and try to think putting aside all the social norms and pre-installed knowledge. I think, suicide is the only time when we can practice ultimate power over our life, defying god its claim over life. To me, suicide is a rebellion and an act or resistance, on the face of our existence, for which, neither of us asked for. As an alternative thinking, is it so distorting? After all, a little rebellion against our existence is not going to hurt anyone!

Nahid Riyasad is a member of the New Age Youth team.





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