Suicide and endurance

“Persist”

Ah!!! now that is a word I like! “Endurance” not so much in this context. But persistence is something we need in everything we do.

Empathy is good. Comfort too. Sympathy however… Some people feed on that. They like to play the role of the poor helpless victim. And then what do you do? Give them the sympathy they want or encourage them to find a different role in life? A little of both, maybe?

No, its not black and white!

The privilege of living securely in the first world where you do not face the prospect of starvation, persecution, trafficking, extortion, environmental injustice, and death on a daily basis, as many people do. It is rarely as simple as “just get out of your situation” for the vast majority of humans on earth.

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This is the problem. By @mitchellmckain view these people can go from “hide for your life” to “look how good my life is” in no time. Some do but majority dont.

I don’t believe you.

I don’t believe that the vast majority of humans on the earth are victims of starvation, human trafficking, and extortion on a daily basis. Death is a part of life, which a lot people like myself remind themselves constantly and perhaps that is one of the reasons we know that life doesn’t suck. Persecution and “environmental injustice” are too relative and a matter of perception, just like privilege and so they sound a lot like excuses to me.

Are some people terrorized and victimized? Absolutely, and that is something for the rest of us to do something about rather than just laze about saying life just sucks for some people.

But I don’t do any such thing. My words above show otherwise. What I do say is that we go from “life sucks” to doing something about it… People hiding for their life are not the people saying “life sucks” quite the contrary!

I said “as many people do,” not the “vast majority of the world.”

Ten percent of the world (736 million people) lives in “extreme poverty.” In sub-Saharan Africa, it’s over 40% of the population. 27% of the world lives with constant food insecurity.

24.9 million people had been trafficked into slavery/forced labor (as of 2017).

One third of the world’s urban population lives in slums (that’s over 1.4 billion people).

100 million people were displaced and became refugees between 2010-2020 due to war, famine, natural disaster, or violent persecution.

Domestic violence affects 12 million people a year in the US alone, and one third of the women worldwide report being beaten or raped by a domestic partner.

20% of the women in the world have been raped.

8% of men and 20% of women globally have been sexually abused as children.

12.6 million people a year die because of the polluted environments they live in (1 in 4 global deaths).

3.6% of the global GDP in 2009 was generated through extortion and organized crime.

The world is really messed up and people are suffering everywhere. Trauma workshops are now the number one service that global development NGOs are being asked to provide.

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Perhaps a big part of the problem here is that this is a matter of faith for me… quoting myself from elsewhere

Around that time my sister attempted suicide and I think that helped more than anything to push me more solidly into the theist worldview with my equivalence between a faith in God and the existential faith that life was worth living.

Trying to convince me otherwise as you have been doing is like trying to convince most of you that God doesn’t exist.

You can add this to your reasons for believing all this crap.

I refuse. Life isn’t just about objective observation. Life is subjective participation. Go ahead and lay down and die with a “life sucks” attitude. I would be dead already with an attitude like that. I simply refuse, no matter what, and that is all there is to it.

Nobody here is saying anything remotely like that, Mitch. I think the gist of the push back here is just to convince you that your own narrative isn’t everybody’s narrative - and that some have a whole lot more obstacles between them and what is commonly seen as “a decent life” than you do, and so a little understanding is always in order if they don’t all survive and push through into the commendable approach to life that you and most of us have learned to embrace. Whatever hardships we’ve all had to face in our own way, the fact that we have the luxury to spend time here on the internet now whining about it with each other already means we had a whole lot more unmerited opportunity thrust our way by our own life circumstances than a great many others in the world. And yes - many of them will survive and do fine. And many affluent people will suicidally leave this life in nihilistic despair. It isn’t a one-size-fits-all claim. It only means you should be able to recognize that some had a lot more to work through than you or any of us here did to survive to any decent life, and that a whole lot of them understandably and tragically don’t survive.

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It kind of sounds like you are proposing that the solution to the problem of evil and injustice in the world is just a manly, take charge, attitude. Glad that worked for you.

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But that is a mischaracterization. I don’t have any such personality. It is more one of simply acceptance and taking what joy you can in things, focusing on the good things rather than the bad. What you are talking about sounds like the “suck it up” attitude which I have been condemning from the beginning.

Acceptance and persistence? Yes. With the word “endurance,” it sounds to me like you are already defeated.

I quite agree. Life is finding your own answer to things. BUT it IS finding an answer – WHATEVER works for you. Just endurance doesn’t sound like an answer at all. A little endurance yes… but that is the same as persistence, isn’t it? Again this is exactly what I have said from the beginning. And that is why the “push back” just looks like an extreme “life just suck, so accept it” response.

If you want to say “life is hard,” then you have my complete agreement. But life SHOULD be hard. If life was easy then we would be sheep.

The word endurance was brought into the conversation in the context of 2 Corinthians 4:17 and the biblical idea of persevering in faith through suffering, so I don’t know why you decided that endurance means being defeated. You implied that no one should need to endure anything; they should leave, fight, or pursue other endless possibilities to change the situation in a path of their own choosing. You insisted everyone had the necessary agency to do those things.

Endurance may not be “an answer” to depression or suffering, but it is going to be an ongoing part of many people’s reality because you are greatly overestimating the level of choice lots of people have in changing their circumstances.

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As one speaker I heard said, the biggest determinant of success is the accident of birth.

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I do not know what to say about the act of suicide itself, but I often read about suicides that are caused by extremely traumatic events like the Holocaust, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, or the mass rapes in the Bosnian War (1992-1995).

I think God never wants suicide, but I think he is rather angry at the unjust conditions, not at the people who see suicide as the only option. While I am sure that many suicidal people do not experience these extraordinary circumstances, I suspect what help make or break suicide is the cohesiveness of community and the way the community responds to their needs because God created humans as social beings.

Although many black communities are either as poor or poorer than white working-class communities in America, they experience less suicides partly due to communal support from black churches which have a historical role in black community formation and cohesion. In contrast, many white working-class Americans experience a breakdown of community support and thus develop the feeling of anomie. (1) That feeling is opposite to the World War II notion of solidarity that still felt strong in the 1950s, the heyday of the white working class when the poor and the rich socialized with each other more often and the wealth gap was smaller.

I imagine rejection from the community to be the most painful, which many Bosnian War rape survivors experienced as members of patriarchal societies that victim-blamed women. Many succumbed to suicide, but the ones who did not succumb may have communal support from other women who understand their experiences.


(1) https://www.google.com/books/edition/_/anK0DwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&pg=PA67&bsq=black+suicide

https://www.google.com/books/edition/_/anK0DwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=black%20church

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You are misinterpreting. I don’t claim that we have any control over our circumstances. I just don’t think our circumstances are what is important compared what we choose to think and do about them.

Agreed! Just because death is the result of a choice you make doesn’t make something suicide.

I am reminded of a favorite book by Stephanie Meyers “The Host,” which begins with the main character seeking to kill themselves. This was not an act of suicide at all but quite the opposite.

A lot of the times there isnt much you can do

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You mean there isn’t much you can do to change your circumstances, which is not the same thing. I envision myself in a jail cell and I know that there is a lot I can do. I cannot be surprised that a failure of imagination results in saying “life sucks” to yourself all the time. That in itself is one of the things you can choose to do, but it is a poor choice.

And the habits of thought from those who raise you is what I think to be one of the more important factors in this.

Like do what? You are in a cell alone. No books no nothing. Only food. You cant write,read or talk with anyone. What are you gonna do? Not a lot of choises i suppose. Do you endure it? Or do you chose an esy way out? Because eventually you will get mad. Imagine all those convicts on isolation. What can they do when they are in there? Sure they could have prevented it with good planing (like for example not beign a jerk to other prisoners) . But thats in the past. What do they do now ?its those situations and a whole lot others that you really need to endure or either youll get mad.

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Physical excercise.
Write books in my head.
Make up puzzles in my head and their solutions.
Prayer.
Play games I already know and invent new ones.
Study my body – its structure, reactions, control.
Conduct experiments with sleep, dreaming and bodily functions.
Exercise my other senses, like listening for the sounds of other people and creatures.
Explore the details of my memories of events, books, and people.

and keep thinking of more things that I can do…

4 yearsand those things will be like a routine .You will feel lonely eventually and burnt out. So no it wont work. Those guys (a lot of them at least)that come out of isolation? Yeah they bat s** mad(excuse me for the language). Not many think to do these things in there . Because they are already broken. And if they do theyll eventually stoped if they are for a long time in there

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And dont get me wrong . I like the mentality " stop bi** ing about it and do something" but some people are not so emotionaly and mentaly strong to do so.

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You can only speak for yourself. 4 years and I will just be getting started. Some people actually prefer the removal of all the “meaningless” distractions in life.

Now I do believe that others would have a hard time with this. I wouldn’t call it strength though. Just because interactions with other people have never been so crucially important to me, doesn’t mean I am stronger or that other people are weaker. We are simply better adapted to different circumstances.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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