So I eavesdropped on a heated argument between some folks regarding the recent suicide cases; and I tried really hard not to interrupt their argument although I was really pushed when I heard one say that “stupidity is when you jump from a storey building to die because you are hurt, you must be a disappointment to your parents.”
I stared at the fellow who uttered those words; I was not surprised at all, but I wondered how it’s been possible for us to have such “Psychologists or Archimedes” in our country and yet every now and then, somebody takes his or her life.
I dare say that, it is hypocritical when we carry ourselves about as though we have never experienced one form of excruciating pain or the other.
The Akans say “ento wo a da”, which literally means experience is the best teacher.
You may want to try wearing a shoe that fits too tight on your legs, and yet you have to use it for some time because you do not have any other – The pain it causes your toes is unbearable, and no other can best understand that pain no matter how you describe it to them unless they wear those shoes.
It is a different thing if you do not know pain or have never experienced pain, that, I can understand; but if you know pain, then you must be a hypocrite to judge acts of suicide.
No; I am not in any way endorsing acts of suicide; but I have been there before and I know the extent to which one can be pushed to want to think death is an escape route.
Maybe it is time people, especially role models stop painting to us that life as all beautiful, a bed of roses, and all the fantasies young ones see on social media and think it is all about life.
Our role models should be brave enough to share their darkest moments when it felt all was lost and “ending it” was the only option one could think of.
I have become really uncomfortable with the so called inspirational books that tell us how it became rosy living out the narrow-slippery road that led to the bed of roses.
Cowardice is thinking death is the way to end your troubles, actually you may forever be remembered as the coward who could not fight on.
Oh again, the Akan say “Obra ye oko” meaning life is a battle; and the early we get that into our heads that God is the only one who doesn’t disappoint, we may face an early grave putting our trust in humans.
Well, it takes a lot of grace to even arrive at this reality, the more reason I don’t just judge these acts because a good number of them even go beyond frustration to manipulations. Each human being has an extent to which they can take and handle pain. The fact that you survived yours does not give you the guts to condemn others.
I think we take for granted a number of things in this country. We can talk, and really a lot of times I am amazed at the level of analysis people can put across.
But on a more serious note, very few of such analysis are channelled into tangible results. People are scared to confide in even religious leaders because your pain may be a topic for discussion and ridicule when you least expect it.
In modern Ghana, a problem shared is no more half solved; but a problem complicated, no such thing as a brother’s keeper; everyone for himself God for us all. A good number of deaths are as a result of frustration and pain, instead of finding a long-term solution to our problems, we think it is stupid for people to end their lives and it ends there.
Instead of parents teaching their children self-love and respect, they prefer to set strict boundaries in the name of “protecting you” and the minute these children get the least chance outside these boundaries they misbehave. Parents have left their parental roles to friends and housemaids.
Maybe if we teach our young ones to love God, have self-respect, love themselves and their neighbours, we will keep them away from taking their lives.Let us teach the young ones to appreciate who they are and the fact that everyone is unique, none is better than the other.
Let us teach the young ones that romantic relationships most likely end in marriage, and so there is no sense in being in a romantic relationship if you are not ready for marriage. Let us tell the young girls every now and then how much we love them, and how precious they are so that no irresponsible boy can lie to them.
Let us not be ashamed to share our darkest moments with our young ones; for if they know you survived it, they will appreciate the virtue “Patience”. They will know that with determination and positive energy, they can break through the odds of life.
Let us create a problem solving environment where people can share their pain knowing it will get solved and not complicated. Let us bring people to the understanding that there is no ordeal they are going through that is new under the sun.
Finally, let us bring people to the understanding that problems only come to bring the best out of you; God said He will not let that which is more than you befall you. May I use this opportunity to appeal to the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection, to find a long-term solution to these acts of suicide.
My humble appeal to the media which is supposed to play a watchdog role is that, in discussing issues such as suicide, they should be extremely circumspective and sensitive instead of being sensational.
The media should also be interested in sustaining such discussions for the benefit of society since it will save many lives from being destroyed.
It breaks my heart how we discuss issues of this kind in the media for a couple of days and it ends there till there is another occurrence, where is that spirit of advocacy?
When we sit aloof thinking “STUPIDITY is when somebody commits SUICIDE”, it is only a matter of time and we will understand the adage that when a neighbours’ beard is on fire, you don’t fetch water and put by yours, rather you help them put out their fire.
For if I can take my own life; then taking another’s life shouldn’t be a problem.
By: Princella Selasi Yawa Amevor/Office of the HOD, Public Affairs, University of Profesional Studies, Accra
Email: [email protected]