23 May 2012


We are seeing an upsurge of people either taking their lives or those of the ones that they love. While many urgue that it is a result of poor parenting I beg to differ. Many such people just have poor coping mechanisms and do not have someone keen enough to notice changes of behaviour.

I have had the privilege to speak to someone who was having suicidal tendencies. He narrated to me how he would get this overwhelming feeling of helplessness come over him which would leave him depressed and looking for reprieve. In his case he turned to alcohol and did drugs. This would be of temporary relieve to him but the depression continued.

In the event that no one notices the change of behaviour, this person will eventually get hooked on drugs or alcohol not because he wishes to but in search of a way to escape the prevailing situation. But if someone close is keen enough to notice behaviour changes early then the situation could be saved.

It is amazing how quickly people dismiss suicide and other addictions as stemming from bad upbringing. This is a shortcut to bury our heads to the underlying factors that lead to this. While upbringing does have an effect on a person, it cannot be the culprit to the circumstances faced and a persons ability to deal with such.
I know for sure there are lots of people behind bars who should be in hospital instead. But such languish behind bars and do not even understand their actions. Except they find the all time healer Jesus Christ they leave the correction centres none the better.

We all need to be more involved with each other. The church has a big role to play in stepping in to correct behaviour and identifying those who may need further help. This is with close partnership with professionals trained for the job. If we all purpose to be our brothers' keeper and get involved with each other we shall have fewer people taking the easy way out.

Today is the burial of one such young person who took his life. A seemingly normal young lad going about life but then at some point decided he could not take it anymore. It is a sad state of affairs for all who loved him. They have to bear with the pain of the loss and perhaps guilt of what they might have done differently. Yet in all this the blame may not be theirs.

In olden days, the strong social fabric worked to ensure that people in society were responsible for each other. There was no two ways about it. If you found a young man misbehaving one had a right to stop him and seek to know his reason and even met out discipline on him. This kept people within the set boundaries because it was more like big brother was always watching. And could be anywhere.

Today with the self actualisation of independent lifestyle we are ill equipped to handle some issues in life alone. The fact that your neighbour does not care if you drink too much and sleep on your doorstep is working against us. It is this casual state of affairs that is plunging us further into dilemma. If we don't go back to the Bible teachings and be our brothers' keeper nothing will change. We might have to watch as others self destruct and feel nothing.

It is time we all wake up to the fact that there is no replacement to the human touch. Technology cannot replace the feel of flesh and blood relationship we have with one another. More meaningful relationships happen when we take time to relate with each other and offer a shoulder when all is not well. It is as God meant it to be. I believe he knows what  is better for us more than we do sometime.
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