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Suicide in today's age

9/3/2014

Suicide in today's age

Suicide might be becoming the rage. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams might have become today's pacesetters. Chronic depression with drug use seems to be the explanation for their behavior. But why either of these? In addition, both were growing old. At least in older men, a factor that precipitates some suicides.

Albert Camus, in his book "The Myth of Sisyphus," concludes committing suicide is cowardly. "To be or not to be," according to Shakespeare, is life's greatest question. Freud postulated a death wish.

So why are any of us still around? Generally speaking, old age is a consequence of living long. Only suffering intractable pain would seem to warrant committing suicide. It is said old age is not for sissies. Then living is for the brave.

That many, if not most, are afraid of death might be adequate explanation why we continue in the face of adversity. In part, it might be we have much vested interest in living and are not willing to go "before our time," until we have no choice in the matter otherwise.

Did Hoffman and Williams both commit suicide to make a statement, that life lived under less than ideal circumstances in not worth living? After all, they had become privileged individuals and should have had no gripes about the state of their affairs. Did they just become bored with life?

How much do unreasonable expectations contribute to the suicidal urge? Then what makes life worth living? Obviously, these two men finally failed to find the answer.

Gary J. Whitesell,

Hays

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