Coming to terms with the factuality of life as no bed of roses saves one a lot of energy, and prepares the mind to confront avoidable and unavoidable challenges headlong. Like I maintained some time ago, problems predominantly show up not necessarily to break you but to make you.The spate at which a good number of Nigerians, particularly youths questionably bring their lives to an end is worrisome and need be addressed. This trend is rapidly becoming fashionable among those that comprise the greater number of the national population, and it portends doom for the future of our society since the youths are the leaders of tomorrow. When these beacons of national hope subscribe to treating their God-given, sacred lives with levity, suffice it to say that the river has overflowed its bank.  

Media headlines in recent times have been somewhat laced with heartbreaking news of this or that young man or woman that has hastened his or her demise. This leaves one bewildered, endevouring to grasp the rationale behind such ignoble actions. The reasons are usually far-fetched because no circumstance, no matter how dire, deserves to be responded by meting out the capital punishment to one's self. Just recently, it was reported that a certain Secondary School female student with child in Benue State committed suicide because her lover betrayed her trust by also impregnating another. Series of reports on how jilted lovers embraced the rope apparently in order to escape the pain of disappointment have been on the front burner for quite a long time.

Largely, this love factor has been responsible for the death of many virile Nigerians today, male and female alike. A significant element underlying the essence of love is harmlessness. It intends not to harm but to heal. If your expectation of the latter from the person on the other end is not met, you should read the handwriting on the wall. It does not warrant you to find succor in suicide, because of self-love. There are two kinds of love: Self-Love and Love for the Other. Self-love is the affection you show to yourself (which is connected to your self-esteem) while love for the other is the affection you show to another. And each is directly related with God's love which permeates them. The Divine injunction which instructs us to love our neighbor as our self emphasizes the need to find a balance between both kinds of love. Overemphasizing or DE-emphasizing one to the detriment of the other is out of place, and thinking otherwise explains the catalogue of self-caused deaths.

Can one who truly loves himself or herself opt for suicide because of demonstrated love that was not reciprocated? Absolutely not! A renowned French scholar, Albert Camus, also wrote off suicide and went on to recommend "Conscious revolt" which entails persisting when situations are resisting improvement, consciously envisaging hope, and coloring your life with happiness even when there is no obvious reason to be. Realizing that disappointments are blocks with which an appointment is built furnishes you with a shock absorber that enables you to stay strong and be clearheaded. Resorting to utter loss of hope or suicide due to personal, interpersonal, economic, social, political, and other life-related challenges is not gallantry but rather cowardice. Only cowards give up when an aspect of their life moves backward, for quitters never win and winners never quit.

Kaycee Naze

(Rational Pen)