Suicide happens in American culture more than other civilized cultures. Some may think it is due to the violent nature of our culture in video games and T.V. While I don't doubt that this influences individuals. I believe that there is a much deeper root.
My mother and I were talking yesterday about how our culture has changed. In her generation, and right up until mine, which was the Baby Boomer, people had a sense of community. Community was where you belonged. People knew each other and neighbors were, well, neighborly. But, when the 60's came along, something else transpired in American hearts. The American heart of individualism, which wrought the American spirit of independence, self-assurance, and a self-reliance brought upon its heels a Revolution of major proportions. While today's culture is known as a "death culture", the 60's was one of "sexual revolution".
Divorce was really a taboo in the 50's, but the 60's pushed the limits of the forbidden. "Free love", Woodstock, and drugs was the culture's defining "traditions". "Communal living" was the replacement for marriage and was only a bandaid in America's seeping hemmorahge in shaping tommorow's child.
The disconnection from the broader community through divorce, "free love", drugs, and a resentment to the status quo made a major impact on society. Police officiers were "pigs", because they maintained the order of our society and represented repression of "free expression". The monster of individualism as the epitome of identification was born. Society had no power over this "superman".
Children born and raised on a culture of social isolation through the disconnect of society's "communities of identification" are subject to an alienation in their souls, a broken-ness of heart and a de-valuation of life. As the children approach the transition years when stressors to identity transpires, these children have little resistance to the external challenges when their internal messages are so strong. These internal messages are messages of self-hate and self-disrespect.
These "handicapped" children struggle to maintain a sense of dignity and value in life. If their parent's marriage was not valued, then what makes them of value? Why were they born and why do they continue to live? A continual sense that they must fight to justify their very existence is a hard mountain to climb, when they should be struggling to develop their "gift and talents" and find out about the adventures in life. Depression and despondency can result leaving the child with any desire to live.
Suicide is the exclaimation point to a de-valued life. A life that had been de-valued by the social structures that were meant to maintain and bless it. Suicide, though experienced by family and friends as horrendously confusing and painful, is only an incidental result of a life that had long before been extinguished.
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