I just watched the movie The Hours, I know I know I’m a bit late. For the kindred noobs, it’s a really interesting take on 20th century writer Virginia Woolf.
She was deemed ‘mentally unstable’ though not in the cock-eyed GRAABL BLAAGL I’MA CHEW ON THIS SOFA way but in the cool ‘oh I think I’ve quite lost my mind. I’m going to kill myself after having a cup of tea. Two sugars please.’ way.
Nicole Kidman wears a fake nose in the movie. I think that is enough incentive for all of you to watch it if you haven’t.
It raised this really, really interesting question in my head.
Why is suicide ‘not allowed’?
Yeah you can’t exactly get arrested if you kill yourself, but why is there a collective stance against the act?
I mean, even if we all were under religious law, ultimately it’s your decision to kill yourself and go to Hell or not (as any conventional religion says you do).
And since we’re not under a law that actually gives a solid reason why you cannot kill yourself – for what reason is it an absolute no-no?
Now before you get on my case, I’m definitely not condoning suicide (though seriously, all those people constantly whining about their lives and writing jaded death poetry, be my guest), because I am religiously inclined and am in no way for it. But this question just utterly tickles me, because I asked a few people, and nobody could give me an actual answer.
If the suicidee (newly invented term used for person committing suicide) is someone you love, then fine, you will stop him because it will hurt you to see him gone.
But take a random white guy in a suit, nobody knows him, walks into the middle of Galle Road, holds a gun to his head and says he’s going to kill himself.
What would everyone do?
Even if a bum that nobody cared about before, openly showed he was going to commit suicide, I am pretty sure there would be some sort of uproar.
Something along the lines of, ‘NOAR! SUICIDE IS NEVER THE ANSWER. NEVAR.’ Sure, it may not be the answer to a 15 year old overreacting to a bad results sheet, there’s more to life than school marks, but why does everyone think there is no reason on earth worth escaping life for?
Like in the movie, a clinically depressed person who feels constant and irreversible mental agony every day, takes their life. Who is anybody to say to someone like that, that they HAVE to live – without giving an actual reason besides ‘living is good, dying is bad’?
Maybe it is the coward’s way out. Maybe it is not the answer in a person’s particular situation from an observer’s point of view. But still. Who are you to actively stop someone from taking their own life if they feel like it? What is the logic behind the authority?
What is everyone afraid of, when they grab a suicidee and say, do not kill yourself? Is it the fear, of the essentially unknown, beyond life? Is it the idea that if people start voluntarily crossing over to the other side, the lives of those left behind will feel even less meaningful? Is it just, plain animal instinct, rising above any actual intellectual rationalizing?
Is it that, perhaps, if some people are allowed to think they have the right to feel like life isn’t worth living – you might be tempted to start thinking life aint as grand as it’s cooked up to be?
Tickled, I am. What do you think? Do you have the right to kill yourself? Would you let someone else have theirs?