We have just one life, don't fritter it away

Representational image

Representational image


It isn't weak to ask for help. It's like using a flashlight when you're lost in the dark

Suicide is the act of intentionally ending one's own life, which is the cruellest form of killing. Most of the suicides happen impulsively during crisis unable to face or deal with life stresses like financial problems, failures, relationship break-ups, or chronic ailments. In addition, experiencing conflict, disaster, violence, abuse or loss of near and dear ones and a sense of isolation are strongly associated with suicidal behaviour.

Suicidal thoughts also called as suicidal ideation is due to pressure or tension that results from a demanding situation. Many factors can increase the risk for suicide or protect against it. Stress can be physical, emotional, psychological or a combination of these.

Suicide rate is alarmingly high among the youth especially students as they are not prepared or are not ready to accept failures or disappointments. As children grow into pre-teens and teenagers, it becomes challenging and impossible for parents to know their thoughts and feelings. Helping a grown-up child to come out of depression can be particularly difficult. They are adults but at the same time their minds are tender and delicate, so don't hesitate to reach out and help. Doing so can prevent a disaster.

The main cause of student suicides in India is forced career choices. Parents across all income groups irrespective of their financial status, are mortally scared and petrified about letting their children do anything other than engineering, medicine or other conventional courses. They have the awareness and prospects of new courses but acceptability is lacking. Humanities and social sciences are still considered as a poor cousin of science subjects, even though they offer brilliant, well-paid careers. We need to allow our children to dream and dream big.

The pressure entrance exams put on students is but one of many reasons for the increased pushback among students. It is very tragic and threatening even to think that one exam can make or break the life of a student. This is because the pressure was built up years prior to taking the exam. Students failing to qualify with the high cut-offs give up and are forced to take a drastic irrevocable step.

It is imperative and is the need of the hour that parents and teachers understand the caliber and ability of the children. Putting pressure and blaming them and pointing out at their failure only adds to their misery and suffering in silence.

While signing up for college, having differences with professors for certain reasons, incurring huge debts made to support your education and after so much effort not fetching a considerable score, thereby falling from the good books of the faculty, only adds to the disappointment and humiliation. Bullying and peer pressure also add up to the pressure cooker to burst as there is no way to escape.

Suicide is preventable and its prevention among students has not been addressed sufficiently due to lack of awareness of suicide as a major public health hazard. Added to this, it's a taboo in many societies to openly discuss it. It needs to be viewed as a multi-dimensional public and mental health problem, which is indirectly related to economical, individual, social, cultural, psychological and biological areas of a civilized society. Time has come where civil society needs to look at suicides as a grave concern and crisis of the country's system of education which includes curriculum and the like.

The new trend and prestige in the society is joining the IT sector. For this, you need to complete engineering at any cost. This means joining exam-oriented coaching 'factory.' These are honoured prisons for youngsters where their bodies, minds and souls are tamed. Economic inequality and not having adequate skills to secure a job is forcing the youth to blame themselves for their failure in getting their 'dream job.' Apart from this, you find people advising and lecturing youth, "it is not that hard to taste success if you work hard enough,' so that the youth blame themselves for their failures.

What is the purpose of life? We all agree that it is happiness and happiness alone. We can truly be happy by doing what we enjoy the most. It can be music. painting, sculpture or anything that is unconventional. Rabindranath Tagore, who was against conventional schools and the education system in his childhood, started Visva Bharati in Santiniketan, advocating teaching students in unconventional ways. We may not make our educational institutions like heaven for our children but we can try and make them places of pleasant atmosphere. Let them not be breeding death centers. It's not the failure of the youth but it is the society and the system that failed them miserably and driven them to a point of no return.

As far as students are concerned, remember failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour and aroma. There is no need to be depressed if you fail. Do not fear failure and fear the unknown. Take it as a fire in your belly and work to make your dreams come true. Take a dynamic role in your own development and steer the rudder of your own life. Make full use of your unique personality and potential. Face your fears with commitment, courage and conviction. Look at life with open mind and don't settle for life less than you are capable of living.

Go where your heart leads you, don't long for superficial and material sources of happiness as money, big cars, or expensive jewellery. Companionship, contentment and inner peace are more important. I say live the life the way it is meant to be with family, friends and laughter. Life is priceless, no tag is attached. It takes you on many journeys, some you may not even remember. That's why you have to always live each day with a positive outlook and look at the bright side of things and live your life the way you want and live it to the limit.

The biggest act of kindness in this world remains the act of saving a human soul, especially YOUR OWN SOUL.

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