A short article about the increase in suicides in America, most significantly in older, middle class males.
There’s a lot of speculation about why, but to me it ties into this article. People lose their beliefs, their delusions about how the world works. What remains is terrifying and death becomes less terrifying than life.
That’s what happened to me. When a ‘conservative government’ here in Ontario decided to cut welfare 23% I became homeless. My depression was very severe at the time and it seemed to me that I was going to die. All that was left was how. It could be one of the many ways that a homeless person could die in February in a Canadian winter or quick, painless and warm.
I managed to survive. I often wonder how many people like me did not.
I was depressed not just because of my biochemistry but because I had lost my illusions. I was one of those who believed that intelligence, hard work and ethics would allow me to succeed. My experience was that propriety is far, far more important than those traits. Unfortunately I can no more be ‘proper’ than a fish can be a bird.
I believe that I am one of the early victims of the sea change going on here in the West. We are, for the most part, 19th Century nations. The source of our wealth, power and identity was based on manufacturing. Unfortunately due to 21st Century technology that is changing. Just as with the Industrial Revolution we’re allowing the change to just happen without consideration of the effects on our society. So the changes occur and many of us get left out. It doesn’t help that our political systems are suffering from the same sclerosis that affected the political systems at the start of the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution. The people in those systems are now, for a large part, so disconnected from the systems they are responsible for that they couldn’t deal with these problems even if they were really aware of them.
To my eyes the rise of radical politics such as the Tea Party and the rise in suicide come from the same source; being adrift in a world we no longer understand and no longer appears to need us in any way, shape or form.
Our society needs to find a way to meet these changes and a way to stop excluding people from it.
Whew! Man, that went on longer than I expected. But these are thoughts I’ve had for a long time. They’ve been begging to get out.
Just so you know, I have found a new thing to believe in, but I don’t believe it is a delusion. Simply, we must be kind to one another.
This is why I hang here, why I post. Why I talk about war, poverty, radical politics, racism, crime. All these things are unkind and/or the result of unkindness. In a small way I can fight against those things here at Little Green Footballs.