@63#there are the everyday miracles of life that can affirm life!

One is brought to a greater sense of attention and understanding of life when someone your age commits suicide. The other night on the Newshour a “friend” of Robin Williams expressed that he had no sense that he was depressed, and in danger of taking his own life; but how could this be? There is I think a false and distant sense of closeness; that is exposed and explodes only when the friend we know “so well”, choses to dramatically reveal the myth of being in a committed fellowship with others, casually called friends. And beyond the societal resistance to acknowledging the presence of “clinical depression”; there is I believe something else going on here; something that engages all of us in some secret and hidden form of asking ourselves: “What is this (my) life all about (really), what is the meaning of my life, and does my being here, or not being here make a difference?” This question can either be a prelude to suicide, or the beginning of knowing and living a life of sincere and authentic purpose. But full and complete disclosure here; I wonder if these questions can be (and they should be) seriously pondered if the questioner sees themselves as only a random act of biological science. There is a spiritual understanding that propels and compels us to come out on the other end of those questions with the idea that your life, in whatever stage or state is no accident; that you were created for a divine purpose; perhaps unseen and unknown by even your closes friends. And then there is that contradictory understanding that does not lend itself to analysis to the best science or thinkers of this or any age; the idea that your life is, and at the same time, is not, your own. We resist this concept because it pushes against everything we are taught by society to hold dear. The powerful delusion of our individuality must not be shaken; and so we empower and enshrine it in social practices, and even in governmental law. But this belief in the “independence” of our personality has consequences when the “self” we have worked so hard to construct, does not measure up to what others (struggling with the same affliction) think of us, or even what we think of ourselves in those lonely moments of silent quietness. Our “less than what we think we are”, invades even the loudest distracting noise the world can produce. The great fear and suspicion we feel, that others will know and think, what we know and think of ourselves. Surely this path can lead to some type of emotional disconnection; even without the presence of a “clinical” cause. This separation of the ideal, from the less ideal (real) self; can be shocking. And my hypothesis for the high number of White males who are driven to suicide by way of depression, must result from a life time of experiencing a sense of empowerment and entitlement; only to see it come crashing down in the face of what society defines as a failed life. The decision to end one’s own life I suspect, does not come quickly; but rather it is at the end of a process, that can’t imagine any other way forward. It is the ending of a deep psychic pain, by putting an end to the sensory organs that report and record that pain. To the victim it is not seen as defeat or surrender; rather it is seen as the last brave act of affirmation, and self determined control of their life.
The alternative thought is to not seek a reason to live from the world, but rather to find that reason to live in the world. It is necessary for each of us to create meaning in the (and out of) midst of a world that is incapable of providing a reasonable meaningful meaning. It (meaning making) starts with the idea that I am not a result of a biological accident; that I am indeed uniquely made for a reason, purpose and task that only I (and no one else on the planet) can complete. This fundamental idea places us alone, and in conversation with God, without the buffer or distraction of the rest of humanity; and in the midst of that dialogue with God, it would be very difficult (impossible) to explain to Him why it is that we no longer want this life we have been given. It is said that suicides most likely take place when the person is alone; I don’t think they are alone; I think that God is present; and the potential suicide victim is explaining and trying to convince God, as to why their decision to commit this act is the best, and right thing to do. And so why does God not stop the person from taking their life? For the same reason we daily face having the power to choose to do good or evil; without free choice (which includes the freedom to make bad or evil choices); we can never realize our true spiritual destiny; and the true meaning of who and what we are. Our personal meaning is always wrapped and found in what we mean to other people. When we find our path of contribution (and everyone has the power to make a positive personal contribution); we will without additional effort, find a path to our own contribution to finding meaning in our lives. This will automatically lead to a solution to the last part of the question: “My being here, or not being here, does it make a difference?” Yes, because there is a difference to be made, and only you can make that difference.
My personal bias is that I believe that education should serve as the soil that could/should nurture and grow that unique difference factor in each person, such that they are able to see their own lives as the important positive difference in the lives of others. And this discovery (to borrow from the: Dead Poets Society) is the poem and poetic license we must all take in life if we dare to persevere and crate acts of lasting beauty through service. Therefore (and dare I say) schools can serve as an antidote to depression and suicide by serving as places of spiritual growth. A place where a person at age 6 or 16 gets a chance to discover their unique avocational and life affirming specialty, and how that specialness is important to the well-being of our planet and its people. And in almost a strange way school is also the place where we can be encouraged to see hope, new possibilities and miracles that continue to occur each day, even at age 63.