Sunday, September 7, 2014

Simone Battle’s Suicide: A Byproduct of Utilitarianism.

Simone Battle, the 25 year old X Factor star who was a member of the G.R.L Band killed herself by hanging in her closet on Friday morning in Los Angeles, in a surprised move that stunned her father and well-wishers. She was such a talented young woman with a lot of hope. Why would a promising young woman like Simone kill herself at a time when everyone thought that she had the world under her feet? Without a doubt, she is a byproduct of the emptiness of the American society that has placed emphasis on materialism rather than virtues. We are building a society whose education targets the mind but lacks a heart.
February 2014, Roee Grutman, a Newton South High School junior committed suicide.[1] Again it was a surprise to his family. There is such a huge distance amongst relatives that it is possible for things to happen in one’s life without the family being aware. The fabric of family cohesion has been shattered in their adolescent days.
In March 2013, Tyler Nichols (13 years old) of Davidson Middle School in Southgate committed suicide early morning in his own very school building.[2]
In May 2014, 17 year-old Omotayo Adeoye of The High School for Math, Science and Engineering in Convent, New York committed suicide by jumping into the Hudson River after she was humiliated for cheating in a German exam.[3] If teachers will seek to attain the hearts of the kids too rather than only the mind, they will understand why they behave a certain way. It does not mean they are diluting the standards because the same methods reduced truancy and enhanced test scores in my classrooms. 
On August 21, 2014, “Riley Matthew Moscatel, a 17-year-old transgender youth”[4] committed suicide by jumping into the railway tracks into an oncoming train, and he died. Healthy wrote that, “In fact, suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds.[5] It is the second among middle and high school age groups (12-18).[6]
If you remember, in June of this year, two 12 year-olds from Wisconsin stabbed their friend 19 times to please the wicked and fictional charter called Slender Man.[7] Charles Dickens in Hard Times reminded the people of the Victorian Era that education must have two components: the mind and the heart. Just today, a 14 year old girl set her house on fire to obey the orders of Slender Man.[8] In the absence of reality, the losers will be contented with shadows. The young people nowadays long for role models to emulate, but they have none. The good teachers are being replaced by those with no moral fibers. Failing schools keep perfecting their failing programs as though a Deuse Ex Machina will one day bring them success. 
Suicide is not a side show; it is now an American epidemic. It is just so sad when you are just about to know a young woman only to hear that she committed suicide. The Buffalo News wrote, “Suicide is an American epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicides are rising – up to 38,000 last year. That’s more than deaths from motor vehicle accidents.”[9] One thing is very clear; a happy person does not commit suicide! The society has placed utilitarianism in a high place that the people find it difficult to satisfy their worship. We are forming a very empty society where things rather than people matter most. The society is so artificial that colleagues do not even make pleasantries with each other for fear of harassment. No deep connections at work or in school. How then will anyone know what the other person is going through? 
Proper teaching cannot exclude current events, no matter the class because that will be the only way kids get more prepared with the Zeigeist. We live in a nation with every means to educate people, but we fail to do so because we are bound by laws and policies that instead want to make human beings as robots. If you are not close to your coworker, relative, student etc, they will not share with you what they are going through. You see single women at work, in school and in church all filling applications on dating sites, not because they do not see men, but it is simply because the society has made everyone a robot and everyone is afraid of harassment.
Just of recent, Robin Williams committed suicide due to depression. It is clear that suicide rates have gone up due to depression and anxiety.[10] We have taken it to be normal to commit suicide, after all, it is the individual’s right to commit suicide. The only problem is that is has a contagion effect as it serves as a copycat to most young people. The CDC once wrote, “All parties should understand that a scientific basis exists for concern that news coverage of suicide may contribute to the causation of suicide.”[11] Despite the well-wishes of people, there is something that many forget; these people who committed suicide did not have anyone they could trust. They did not have anyone they thought could help them, so suicide becomes their only spider hole. Perhaps we should try making our communities like little villages where everyone cared for everyone and not a community suffering from the crab syndrome where everyone is trying to sue someone and destroy them. 
VOX says that, “suicides are impulsive and can be prevented at the last minute.[12] This can only happen when people become more important than material things or animals. Utilitarianism has brought an untold solitude that has left human beings like the “Solitary Reaper”, albeit in a group like Simone was. She was a member of a band, yet "no one saw it coming." No one saw it coming because they were not close; otherwise, they would have seen it.  
One time I visited a school and 3 minutes before the bell rang, I called a student and told her that I can feel her pain. “I see that you are struggling to smile, but you are hurting badly within.” I told her. She looked at me and began immediately to sub profusely. It was there that she told me all her problems which I relayed to her counselor. The counselor told me that she has never told any of them despite her going through the same issues since 8th grade. That is because she did not see that closeness to be able to pour her heart out. Education should exceed just attaining the mind. Proper education should touch the heart too! How did I know that she was suffering? I went beyond just educating her mind. In educating the whole person in what I call holistic teaching, we will create listening ears and compassionate hearts that give hope to the hopeless. The society must create those listening ears and compassionate hearts or continue the mourning song after the suicide contagion has long passed with the biers of those we so loved dearly.  

Until then, be your neighbor’s keeper!

St Arrey of Ntenako.

[1] "Newton Reels from Mourns Third Teen Suicide of School Year - The Boston Globe." N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2014.
[2] "Teen Commits Suicide at Middle School in Southgate." - Fox 2 News Headlines. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2014.
[3] "Teen Student Jumps to Death after She's Caught Cheating." New York Post. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2014.
[4] "Philly-Area Trans Teen Commits Suicide on Train Tracks." N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2014.
[5] "Teen Suicide Statistics." N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2014.
[6] "Facts & Stats - The Jason Foundation." The Jason Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2014.
[7] "Bustle." Bustle. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2014.
[8] ibid
[9] "Suicide Becomes an American Epidemic - The Buffalo News." N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2014.
[10] "Boomers Face a Greater Risk of Depression and Suicide." - MarketWatch. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2014.
[11]“Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2014.
[12] "12 Facts about Depression and Suicide in America." Vox. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2014.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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