Trigger Warning: Suicide
One night I received a sudden call from a friend, who sounded shattered and broken, to an extent of that she had had thoughts of ending her life. I was shocked, terrified, and clueless. She had been having a tough time for the past few months. She told me how she was facing difficulties in studies, and, to add to that grave situation, her parents were on the verge of getting divorced, because her father had probably entered into another relationship. She told me how her mother had been calling her up at night, crying, and trying to confide into her, her eldest daughter. She was frustrated with how her father threatened her, telling her not to talk to her mother or else he would not bear any responsibilty for her studies. She was worried about her twelve-year-old brother, who probably had no idea what was going on. All in all, everything was a mess for her at that moment.
All this took a lot of time to process in my mind. I didn’t know what to tell her. Of course, one thing I definitely needed to tell her was that ending her life was the correct option at all. But, beyond that, I stood helpless too. What else could I tell her? How was she to deal with her parents?
Should I have told her “Be open-minded”, “It’s your father’s choice”, “It’s the modern world, and such things happen,”, “Let’s be liberal“, or “Be calm and just go with the flow“?
What was she to tell her mother? That it’s okay? That it was her father’s wish? That her mother should let her father go? That in today’s world, feelings cannot be controlled? That her mother should accept it in a mature manner? Or that her mother should be understanding?
If it’s this easy to accept things today, if it’s this easy to move on, if its this easy to be understanding, if it’s this easy to be ‘open-minded’, if it’s this easy because it’s the modern world, then what is a ‘family’ for? What is the relationship of husband and wife for? What is being a mother and a father for? What is any relationship or bond for, when ultimately, at any point, you can just leave all of it behind because you feel it’s not worth anything more, because you feel you have had enough, because you feel its not working anymore, because you feel ‘today it’s your choice?
Of course it’s your choice. But a ‘choice’ only as long as it does no harm to anyone, or to yourself (physical or mental). Excercising our own ‘choices’ and open-mindedness along with liberalism has come to us as great power. And, as it is said, “with great power comes great responsibilty”. We shall then not forget our responsibilities. We shall not become inconsiderate and irrational. We shall remember our greatest strength lies in being human and having the capability to differentiate right from wrong.
Human civilisation has progressed a long way from what it was. A major factor in this advancement has been education. Education not just for getting a job, earning well, living well, speaking well, dressing well (by today’s standards), but as humans, as society, as civilisation, to be well. Notice when there is a situation of chaos, a situation that doesn’t seem to fit our expectations, we crib about people behaving in an ‘uneducated, uncivilised, and savage’ manner, and compare it to being ‘animals’. If that is so, today we consider ourselves to be superior in some manner or the other. If we are more capable, physically and mentally, if we know more and can think more, then think. Think before you act. Think not only for yourself but for others also. Ma be you cannot think for everyone around you, but atleast think about your loved ones, think about the people that have stood beside you always, think about those who have made your life what it is.
‘Its your life’, but you are not the only one in it.
‘Its your choice’, but may not be at times the best ‘choice’.
With this note I leave it to you to think about what/whose choice would have made my friend’s life easier at this point. With the same, have your choices been the right ‘choices’ for everyone?