I trust your holiday was joyful. Now that you’ve had your fill of pie and cakes and have drifted off into a sugar high state of mind, I’m going to bring you back into the world of reality.
No, I’m not going to talk about the upcoming holiday season and all of the pretty lights and parties that occur this time of the year. I’m not going to talk about some wonderful Christmas cruise or vacation someone is taking.
What I’m going to talk about is simple.
What happened to America?
Last week, there was a story making its way around concerning a young nineteen year old boy who hooked himself up to the internet and then committed suicide while people watched. This young boy posted a note about what he was going to do along with a link to his website and camera. He was using a blog site from some body building forum. The young man was discovered by the police some twelve hours after he had died. What disturbs me is that almost no one attempted to get him any help or see if he could be stopped. Indeed most of the comments to the blog were taunts and messages ‘daring’ him to go through with his plan.
How sick is this? The police reported that only one person actually called them to report the incident even though the young man had posted his name and address on line. I found this hard to believe and went back and read some of the comments. They turned my stomach. Several of the writers said that they could hardly be blamed for encouraging the man to kill himself as it was comparable to being on the street and watching someone jump from a building.
“All you’re doing is looking…what’s the harm in that” one person wrote. “He probably would not have stopped anyway…” another said. “I thought it was a joke” said someone else. “Even if I had called, he would have just done it next week anyway, so why bother?” said one lady from California.
To all of these I have one question.. what if it was your son or daughter? How would you like to live in a society who sees some harm being done or about to be done and turns a blind eye to it? Is that what we have become? Are we that cold and indifferent that the safety and well being of our fellow man is no longer our concern?
Recall some years ago, when a young woman was assaulted in New York City while a bunch of people looked on and nothing was done to try and help her. I recall that that this incident made the news for some period of time. As I recall a number of studies came out on this matter and the attitudes of society were taken to task as a result. The question was then as it is now, how have we gone wrong in this country?
Is this the pervasive attitude across America or just in some areas? Do people in smaller towns and villages get more involved with their neighbors and people who need help and assistance than those living in larger cities? I certainly hope so. I want to believe it’s so.
In a civilized society the strong must look after the weak. I have no idea what was going on in that young man’s mind to make him want to die. I do know that there are few problems at nineteen years of age that cannot be solved by just sitting down and thinking them through with some mature persons with some experience. Nothing is ever as bad as it seems. No one should ever take someone’s suicide statement and dismiss it out of hand as being frivolous or joking. You don’t joke about bombs and guns on airplanes and you should not joke about suicide, it isn’t funny.
Oh, and one more thing…the police made a statement that had he (the kid) lived he ‘could’ have faced prosecution for having attempted suicide. There’s a sense of compassion for you if I’ve ever seen one. Succeed and you’re dead, fail and you might go to jail. We seem to have our values completely out of whack here.
My heart goes out to this kid’s parents and hope they know that most of us aren’t like those who wrote on their son’s blog.
Or are we?
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