I remember back when i was in high school, back in the 80’s, we had a class on social issues. In that class we discussed high profile situations in our society; which underscored how desensitized our society was becoming to people in pain and misery.
There was a case of a woman who was stabbed over and over again in New York. She was screaming and people heard it and yet they did nothing. Later, when the police were investigating…people stated that they heard it; but, they did not want to “get involved”.
I remember thinking, during that discussion, that that was crazy; an isolated incident. Not so, as i have grown up and matured, I find that people really are becoming desensitized to other people’s pain and misery. It is crazy but think about it…how many movies have put murder and torture out there for entertainment value…such as those horror flicks or slasher movies? It is not only sad…but, it is immoral. Those things desensitize our fellow human beings to the value of life.
How many television shows continue to shoot, rape, rob, torture and victimize others and draw in millions of viewers each and every day? How do we expect people to have compassion towards one another? We need to reconnect to those around us; this is something that affects us all. Children are growing up today who have great difficulty seeing past their own wants and needs. Adults who are willing to commit violence to get what they want…no matter who they hurt or kill. Parents who kill children, children who kill parents, siblings, neighbors or friends. It is as if they do not know how to “feel” appropriately towards anyone outside of themselves.
Today, i am brought to a deeper sadness than I have felt in a long time regarding our nation and the lack of compassion that our citizens show towards one another.
A young man in Florida committed suicide online while others watched and egged him on. He posted a suicide note…he live-streamed his suicide online; while people WATCHED and did nothing to HELP him. Not only that, they allegedly ridiculed him and said things like…that isn’t enough medication to kill you! What amazes me, is that this went on for hours and hours before someone had the good sense to contact the authorities to try to get help for him. It was too late; he was already dead!
There are reports that this person may have attempted to kill himself in the past. So what; so what if it was a false alarm…who and what does it hurt to contact the authorities and have it checked out? If that person was faking it…he would have been sent somewhere for a psychological exam to find out why he would do such a thing. Maybe, just maybe he would still be alive today if someone had made an attempt to help him; when he FIRST stated his intention to kill himself.
Unfortunately, the young man was not faking the suicide attempt…he was actually crying out for help. There were many people who had an opportunity to get involved, save a life, make a difference…and yet…they did not. How can a human being watch another person suffer in front of their very eyes and pile more emotional damage upon that person? Even if they thought it was a prank, even if they thought the person was not serious, even if they thought it was a waste of time…they failed to react with compassion. How much more of an effort would it have taken to pick up the phone…or contact the online service that provided the streaming video and asked for someone to follow up on the person’s well-being? Someone finally did contact help…but…it was much too late for saving his life; but, at least they made an attempt.
I sure would not want my mind filled with the image of that young man lying on his bed with his back to the camera; filled with despair and depression…curled up in defeat…knowing that he died as I watched and took no action to save his life. Every life has value and should be preserved. My heart aches for him, for his family and for his friends…and yes, even for those who watched him die. They will have to live with the knowledge of what they saw, what they said and did; and, did not do to help a fellow human being in distress.
Many people in our society are affected by mental illness, or by depression. It is not a crime…however, it is a crime to fail to get someone help when they need it. I don’t know if any of those who participated in this suicide by watching it will be held legally responsible or not…but, I do think that they had a moral obligation to get involved in a way that would have attempted to provide some emergency help for this individual. Depression is a serious matter and so is a suicide attempt. Please help to educate others on suicide prevention! https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/suicide-prevention/ or on what happens to a suicide victim’s loved ones after the suicide: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=6311509