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The antidote

In a statement made to the Indian Parliament in July 1991, Mr. M.M. Jacob, Minister of State for Home Affairs, put the number of suicides in Delhi alone during the three and a half year period from January 1988, to June 30, 1991, at 2,700. He said that the basic reason for taking this step was extreme frustration. (Hindustan Times, August 1, 1991)
It is only very rarely that a handicapped person kills himself. Most of the people who die by their own hands are physically quite healthy. There are many reasons, however, for their taking the extreme step of suicide: failure to gain admission to post-graduate courses, or to secure a good job after completing a university education, postponement of promotion, inability to marry the person of one’s choice.

Most of these people had everything in their favour, including good health. They lacked none of the necessities of life. But because one thing, which seemed of great importance to them, eluded their grasp, they fell a prey to such an overwhelming sense of frustration that they decided to end it all.

One thing—the greatest thing in the world—was absent from all of their lives: hope. Man lives on hope. Where it evades him, life appears so meaningless that he sees no sense in continuing with it. That is when he takes his own life.

The mistake all suiciders make is to look only at the present and not at the future. Because the present has not been blessed with abundance, that does not mean that the future will not change for the better. If a man contemplating suicide were instead to turn his attention to exploiting his own capabilities and seizing whatever opportunities came his way, it is very likely that he would come to possess all those things, absence of which makes him so miserable today.

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