No one wants to talk about it; like it’s some big secret, like it doesn’t happen every day. But it does happen every day. According to both the World Health Organization and suicide.org, a 501c3 non-profit, someone on this planet commits suicide every 40 seconds. I don’t know about you, but that seems like an awful lot to me, especially considering the fact that there are so many reasons never to do that.
10 – We Have Front Row Seats to the Greatest Show in Town
When you get right down to it, this life is a miracle. This reality is amazing. It’s easy to forget this. It’s easy to fall victim to complacency and cynicism. But if you take just a moment to consider the nature of your existence, it’s also easy to regain that childlike joy and wonderment.
Think about the incredible intricacy of the natural systems that keep the planets orbiting, the stars burning, the tectonic plates colliding, and your heart beating. Bear in mind the astonishing computing power of the ugly grey meat we call a brain. Contemplate the unlikelihood that anything can come from nothing. Then try to fathom the source of all things. Then try to imagine the source of the source. Then do yourself a favor and take this opportunity to realize how fortunate you are to possess the ability to have these thoughts, to ask these questions, to read these words, and to have the freedom to decide what you will do next. It’s a hell of a thing to throw away.
9 – It Wasn’t Easy To Get You Here
Consider for a moment all the people from whom you descend. There are your parents of course, and then their parents. Then there are your great-grandparents, and they had parents of their own, and etcetera, etcetera, back through the countless ages. If you go back just ten generations, you can count over 2,000 great-grandparents from whom you are directly descended. Go ahead, do the math. See for yourself. The number doubles with every generation. Obviously, the further you go back, the larger this number will be, but let’s just work with this figure for the time being.
Think of the implications of having more than 2,000 great-grand parents. That’s more than one thousand specific pairings. If just one thing in just one of their lives had gone differently; who knows; the whole story might be different; you might not exist. It’s impossible to figure how many events had to go just right to bring each individual couple together. And each coupling was fatally dependent on the one that preceded it. However you think about it, one thing is clear: a whole hell-of-a-lot went into getting each one of us here on this planet. All that chance or fate or whatever you want to call it, all those intersecting lives, all of it boiling down until it finally results in something so specific as you. A more complicated distillation process could not exist. Be proud of your existence. You’re not just amazing; you’re astronomical. Don’t throw that away.
8 – Tomorrow’s Another Day
Sometimes we don’t get what we want, need, or deserve. Sometimes the clouds roll in dark and depressing. Sometimes the cards go wrong and all the dice come up snake eyes. Sometimes the bad guy wins. Sometimes life just doesn’t seem worth the hassle. Don’t be hasty. Give it time. This thing is changing every minute. It would be a shame to checkout voluntarily the day before you won the lottery, or the week before you met the love of your life.
7 – Survivors Report Changing Their Mind at the Last Minute
There is no shortage of suicide survivor stories, and many have a common thread. The element of last-minute regret seems to unite many of those who have unsuccessfully tried to off themselves. That’s a scary thought. The immense volume of panic coursing through that regret must be awful. The wish to un-jump off that bridge, or un-pull that trigger, or un-drink that poison, must be like pure torture, like discovering the truth just a moment too late for it to do you any good. Thankfully, it is very possible to learn the true value of life before it’s too late, before that life’s been cast into the undertow current that sweeps it away to where you can’t ever get it back.
6 – Spoiler Alert
In a philosophical sort of way, taking one’s own life can be viewed as something akin to reading the first few chapters of a great book, and then skipping ahead to read the last page just to see how it ends. Patience everyone. One way or another, we all end up on the other side eventually, anyways. So, why not see this thing through. Why not give this thing a chance to get better before closing the curtain prematurely.
5 – It’s All An Illusion Anyways
In this ambiguous and quixotic reality, we can be sure of at least one thing: none of us really, truly knows what’s going on. Our senses are extremely limited, and because of this, we only have access to a small piece of the puzzle. There are sounds we can’t hear, and frequencies of light that are imperceptible to the lenses of our eyes. We are surrounded by particles too small to see, and events too quick to witness. Modern math suggests that there may even be other dimensions right here all around us that we are incapable of perceiving. And every day, physicists on the cutting edge are coming up with ever more creative and bizarre explanations for the paradox of existence.
So that thing that has you so upset and thinking self-destructive thoughts might not actually be at all what you assumed it was. It would be terrible to shuffle yourself from this mortal coil only to discover that you made this epic, life-altering decision based on faulty or incomplete information. Don’t jump to conclusions. And maybe give cooler heads a chance to prevail.
4 – Cleanup
Even if there’s no blood, death isstill messy. When a person dies, the muscles in the body tend to go limp and the bladder and bowels are evacuated. This is not exactly the sort of lasting image you want to leave behind for the world to remember you by. And even if you could figure out a way to avoid this embarrassing reality, suicide is not a clean enterprise. Somebody has to find the body; that’s traumatizing. Somebody has to call the authorities, and notify family members. This has to be the worst part of someone’s day. And then the body has to be moved, processed, dealt with, examined, and properly disposed of. Costly and emotionally exhausting arrangements have to be made. That’s a lot of man hours we’re talking about; a lot of effort to clean up a mess that by all accounts shouldn’t even exist. Nobody cheers for the person who retires from the party early and leaves a huge mess for others to clean up. Don’t be that person.
3 – There Might Be a God
There are a lot of varying religious beliefs floating around the world today, and many more whispering from the halls of antiquity. And they all have one thing in common: none of them can be absolutely proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
What we do know for sure, however, is that we are here. We may not know where here really is, or what here is really made of. We may not know why any of it’s here, or why we are a part of it all. But sure enough, this universe exists in some form or another. And if there is something responsible for its source or origin, and if that responsible party is conscious and capable of an emotional response, it’s a fair bet that said party would probably not be too keen on anyone undoing this impressive handy-work. In the final assessment of things, it’s hard to deny that some as of yet unknown natural law, force, or entity went through a lot to bring each one of us into this world. Who are we to rethink what the universe has made?
2 – One in a Billion
I don’t want to be crude, but the facts are the facts. And the fact is that a healthy adult human male can expel anywhere from 40 million to 1.2 billion spermatozoa in a single ejaculation. Without getting pornographic, (unless that’s your thing) consider the moment of your conception. Contemplate the sheer numbers involved. Imagine the entire population of China engaged in a great race for their very lives. That’s a relatively fair comparison to the microscopic events that made you. One sperm-cell, the strongest and the fastest out of potentially more than a billion, beat them all. The one containing half of your genetic code beat out each and every competitor, and heroically earned the right to join with the esteemed egg, creating a miracle, a human, you. Don’t throw that away.
1 – Because I Said So
If these reasons are not sufficiently compelling, then refrain from killing yourself simply because I’m asking it of you. I have known a few who have gone this way; trust me, it sucks for everyone involved. And though I don’t know you, I don’t want to lose you. You’re a one of a kind.
*All due respect and condolences to anyone who has lost someone to suicide. The purpose of this list is not to worsen old wounds, but to try humbly to help prevent future ones.
by Robert Manolis