Monday, 29 February 2016

Give Me a Reason to Live

I want to be extremely careful how I approach this.  As those who have read my last blog post would know, suicide is a topic I treat very seriously.  I have had personal friends commit suicide, and that fact alone has greatly impacted not only those moments, but the very way I live my life even today.  So if I seem like I’m being at all insensitive, please let me know as that’s the furthest thing from my intention!

There are great guides out there for helping out someone who is considering committing suicide.  That’s not what this is.  This is a cut-to-the-chase statement addressing the inadequacies on both side of the fence.

Pretend that you don’t know me, and that I am considering committing suicide.  What would you say to me to change my mind?

There are absolutely 100% airtight reasons for me to choose to live.  I know it and you know it.  However, many of the arguments made against suicide that I’m hearing are not so airtight.  I know it will get depressing more that you read on, but just bear with me because I’ll end it on a very positive note. 

I will be playing the part of the one contemplating suicide not because I think I fully understand them or because it’s something I struggle with, but because I believe that there’s a degree of logic to the reasoning of the mentally ill.

Inadequate Reason #1 – You Have People Caring for You

I do, do I?  What evidence have I have of this before now?  No one I know has ever put my interests before their own.  They are always in it for themselves.

Oh sure, now that I’m displaying unstable tendencies, people care.  But their caring will disappear just as soon as they’re convinced that I’m mentally healthy again.

People don’t care about me for me, they care about me for my unhappiness.

In addition, the fact that people care about me shows that I have become a burden to them.  Their lives would be easier if I wasn’t around.

Inadequate Reason #2 – Life Will Get Better

There’s a pattern in my life, which makes sense to believe, that life doesn’t get better but only gets worse.  Plus, I can list a number of people whose lives have only gotten worse. 

How can people make such outrageous claims about life getting better when they can’t see the future?

Inadequate Reason #3 – People Would Be Devastated by Your Death

Everyone dies.  Yes, it’s sad, but people get over it.

Perhaps my death will lead to change, as it often takes a tragedy to bring about great changes.

They won’t be as devastated by my death as I am by my life.  Life is torture.

Inadequate Reason #4 – You Are Very Special with Your Own Talent

So now we are basing my value on what I can accomplish?  That’s depressing, as I’m not good at anything, and trust me, I’ve TRIED everything.  If I have a talent for anything, it’s for messing things up.

Diagnosing the Problem

Ask the average person, “do you think your life has meaning?”  And they’ll give you a “yes.”  But ask them “what is the meaning of life?”  And there’s a good chance that they’ll say “I don’t know.”  It’s amusing that people are so sure that their life has meaning without knowing why.

Some people will say, “everyone discovers their own meaning.”  That reasoning is why many of the aforementioned reasons to live fall short.  Here’s reasons why you’ll have a problem with that source of life’s meaning:

1.        Your definition of the meaning of life may imply that the other person’s life – as they see it – is currently meaningless (eg. if your meaning of life was to “be happy,” or “achieve success,” an unhappy and unsuccessful person may take that to mean that their life was meaningless)
2.       The person you are trying to help may recognize that just because something gives your life meaning, it doesn’t mean it should give their lives meaning as well.  Even if they have the thing that you find is giving your life meaning (eg. A spouse or a child), they may find that this isn’t enough to give their life meaning.
3.       Regardless of what the other person has in life, they may straight out disagree with you on what the meaning of life is, and you aren’t able to honestly say otherwise.
4.       You probably aren’t able to prove why the meaning of life is for each person to discover for themselves.  As much as it may make sense in your head, you may not have a scientific reason for it.

You can only tell someone that their life has value if you are able to say conclusively where that value comes from.

The Adequate Reason

I’ve only seen one adequate reason for living that applies to everyone and that can be backed up with scientific reasoning.  That reason is:  you have value not because of how you see yourself, or because of how others see you, but because God made you and to Him you have value.

There’s those who would argue that through the actions of God, He isn’t making it very apparent that we have very much value to Him.  A whole blog post can be written on this alone, so to that I’ll just say for now “how do you, a finite being, expect to understand the ways of an infinite God?”

The only inadequacy of this argument is not that it can’t be proven correct, but that not everyone believes it.  Yet this isn’t an inadequacy in the reason as much as it’s an inadequacy in a person’s understanding of it.  I’m willing to address any arguments that you may have on this subject, in another blog post if needed.

If God made you, and if the meaning of life is to worship Him, then it is possible for everyone’s life to have meaning, regardless their current state in life.  God will take your life in his own time, but until then you can live with the assurance that your life has value and there’s a point to your continued existence on this planet.

The Application Part

I’ll be brief.  If you truly believe everyone’s life has value, how does that affect the way you are living?  What steps are you taking to show others that their lives have value?  Their lives may not be your responsibility, but it is your responsibility to treat everyone, regardless of who they are or what they have done, with the respect that a human being with value deserves.  Even if you disagree with me on everything else, I hope you will agree that a little kindness can go a long way.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Stephen Selke’s “Sob Story”

Just because I’ve never had my heart broken doesn’t mean I’ve never had heart ache. I admittedly have had a very few girls like me enough to go out with me if I asked them. Yet I know for a fact that they would soon be rid of this desire since our mindsets were worlds apart. There’s people out there that will tell me that I’m still young at 27, but to me that’s an old age to be at without ever being in any kind of romantic relationship. It’s not a pleasant feeling when it seems that there’s no one on the planet that will ever be more into me than anything else (with the exception of God, who should ALWAYS come first). As much as I’m totally fine being single, there’s still the sting of rejection.

But the real heart ache doesn’t come because of my inability to enter a romantic relationship. What really devastates me and moves me to tears is seeing evil win in this world. The time I shed the most tears of my life was when a friend committed suicide. I wish I could have been around more, to show him that his life had value, a God-given purpose, even if he couldn’t see it. Yet suicide is happening all around me, although at a much slower rate. What I mean by this is that whenever someone rejects Jesus and the purpose He has for them, they are bringing the death penalty needlessly on themselves. I see people on the course to spend eternity in Hell, when the way to eternal happiness is so apparent to me.

Perhaps one of the reasons I’m a less emotional person as a whole is because the sensitivity I have to the big issue stuff, like the fate of people’s eternal happiness, doesn’t allow much room to “sweat the small stuff.” So it seems like I’ve gone crazy to you, or at least that I look a bit harried, I want you to know that the fact that I have no wife to tether me down only has the smallest part in it. The sanity that I do have (I promise you I’m not insane, and everything I’m saying here I’m able to back up with rock-solid logic) is afforded me by the peace God graces me with.

There’s an evil darkness encompassing the world, and it’s claiming lives, some faster than others, and I refuse to idly stand by instead of frantically pointing to the readily available escape into the light and eternal happiness. I know for a fact that perhaps this isn’t the best way to get the message across, but I also know that God is strong enough to use all of his for his glory even in our weaknesses.