Monday, March 7, 2011


In many of the United States, suicide was once considered a crime. But, according to Wikipedia, "By the early 1990s only two states still listed suicide as a crime, and these have since removed that classification." Sometimes it takes a while for anyone to acknowledge the ludicrousness of heart-felt enthusiasms.

In the case of suicide, once the act has been successfully accomplished, there is no longer a victim and there is no longer a perpetrator. This, to put it mildly, makes it difficult to nail down any possible crime. References to the immoral or upsetting or criminal nature of suicide relate entirely to those who have not decided to take that route. And no matter how hard anyone might try to pigeon-hole the act, still the fact remains ... no more victim to defend, no perpetrator to accuse.

Suicide has all sorts of upsetting fallout for those riding in its wake. There is a much-shared bias against death, so anyone who chooses death is, from the get-go, either insane or criminal or selfish. But setting aside the reactions of others, it is interesting how we all build up a house of cards around one subject or another -- it's good, it's bad, it's selfish, it's compassionate ... and then act in accordance with those constructs. We are convinced, not least because we seek out others who are likewise convinced. It takes some doing to reflect on the protected realm and suss out the facts. No perpetrator, no victim -- such a conclusion can raise howls of disagreement, both within and without.

Using suicide as an example is deliberately provocative. It's sort of like yelling, "Sex!" -- everyone's ears perk up. But I think the principle is good in any arena, whether bland or spicy: What are the facts of the matter before I start creating laws or watering the religious daisies or joining a society for the preservation of alley cats? Sussing out the facts does not mean becoming immune to or inured against any impact that might attach to the house of cards under investigation. It just allows us to take a comfortable responsibility for what we are already responsible for. No point in being any more foolish than we need to be.

For example: I loooove chocolate.

It's to die for. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment