Last week my FB page was hit with RIP messages about Anthony Bourdain, a man that I’ve never met (and unfortunately never will now), but who I have been following on his travels around the world in the quest of great food. On the surface, Mr. Bourdain had everything going for him with a stable job, doing the thing that he must have loved the most, envious to some people. However, it is what lurks under the surface that can drive you to what drove this man at age sixty-one to commit suicide.
What drives a person to Suicide, I asked myself? Is it a lack of money, friends, despair at losing a loved one or just being negative about the general outlook towards life? The answer, however, cannot be a standard one. Circumstances change from each person, the wants from life alter and the signs are often ignored by those even around the person. Helplines do what they are supposed to, and while I have never been through such a phase in my life fortunately, the thinker in me would attribute that support groups can do their job only if the victim themselves felt the need to ask for help.
But do they ask for help? The stark answer is no. They feel that they have no other option but to end life. And hence, begins the great debate of ‘if’s, when’s maybe’s and but’s’. However, the argument is the same – the victim felt that there was no other way out and this is brought about by the pressures of society, the pressures to get educated, find a “good” job, find a good life partner, get married by a certain age, have children at a certain age, the number of children, getting children settled, judging people by how much they earn, spend, save, how they dress, walk, look, what they eat, the amount they eat, their weight, height, personality and the list goes on. Yes, society truly is demanding.
But who comprises society?
People like you and me. That’s right – YOU and ME.
Someone, sometime in life (including me) have all been guilty of passing judgment upon someone who just couldn’t help being or acting the way they were. Hopefully for us, that person was not driven to suicide because of our actions. But before we pass judgement upon others, let’s take some time and think about what the other person may be going through and if we cannot be there for that person (because let’s face it, all of us, including I, are self-centered at least to a certain extent), let’s not make life worse for them.
And if you can help, listen to what they want to say. Do not judge them or preach advice that you would want them to follow. Say your piece, but let them decide.