I don’t wish to be unkind. But facts are facts. A victim is someone who has something bad happen to him, totally against his will and without any say or control in the matter.
Suicide does not “happen” to someone. It’s something one does to oneself.
Most of us are drowning in virtue-signaling and political correctness — so much so that we can’t even see it.
It seems cool to mourn people who kill themselves even though you never knew them. How do we know we would have liked and admired them had we even known them personally?
Consider some of the facts we do know about them.
Anthony Bourdain was a drug addict. He said nasty things about the Food Network for years, conveying bitterness he never became quite the celebrity chef that someone like Bobby Flay was. He joked on CNN about wanting to poison President Donald Trump. Can you imagine joking about poisoning Barack Obama? Yes, Bourdain was a productive person who accomplished a lot of things. But he might not have been your best friend, had you known him. He certainly would not have been mine.
Ditto for Kate Spade. To hear her sister tell it, Kate was Bipolar and refused to get professional help. Can you imagine having the world at your fingertips and refusing to get help for a problem that’s highly manageable and treatable? Everyone insists mental illness is a disease. Would you respect someone who refused to treat their cancer or diabetes, particularly if they had access to the best treatment available?
Anthony Bourdain left behind an 11-year-old daughter. Kate Spade left behind a 13-year-old daughter. They abandoned their children. Are we so politically correct that we can’t identify the raw cruelty in these actions? They didn’t have to do it. They could at least have waited until their kids reached young adulthood. Would you admire a person who dropped their child off on a public street and forgot about them? If so, what are you to think of a parent who literally leaves life before the child had a chance to grow up?
I have talked to hundreds of suicidal people who have told me, “I couldn’t do that to my child.” Some wouldn’t even do it to their dog or their cat. Why don’t we applaud and celebrate these unsung heroes, instead of fawning over celebrities we never met and pretending they’re victims?
Not all successful people are miserable. In fact, most are not. We don’t hear about the happy ones because — well, because I guess most of us don’t find them interesting. I find happy people interesting. I’m much more interested in health and life than despair and gloom. Celebrity suicides are sad and worth pausing to understand. So are non-celebrity suicides. But if we make them the most important attribute of success, we become negative and cynical, and there’s already far too much of that in the world.
Suicide is a choice. I don’t mean to deny there’s suffering. Suffering deserves a certain amount of empathy, compassion and understanding, to be sure. But misery and pain are not accomplishments. And killing yourself should not make you more of a celebrity than you were when you were alive.
Stop looking at people who make sad, tragic or irrational choices as victims. They’re not victims. We all make our choices, and it’s the people “suicide victims” leave behind who need your compassion and understanding the most.
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