Showing posts with label Suicide. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Suicide. Show all posts

April 24, 2019

Project Suicide

This was sort of a funny scene in a project meeting. 

One person describing the challenges at one point, spontaneously and dramatically motions to take a knife and slit both wrists.

This absolutely got people's attention.

Understanding the struggles the person was expressing, and trying to add a little lightheartedness to the situation, I say:

"This is a tough project, pass around the knife."

This got a good hearty laugh around the table, with one person saying that this was the quote of the day. 

Anyway, we want to make operations as effortless as possible on people, but the project work to get there is definitely making people work for it. 

Let's avoid project or people suicide--be supportive of each other, pace ourselves, team together, and problem-solve to get it successfully over the finish line.

Soon we can celebrate all the challenges we overcame together and from our determined efforts, all the wonderful results. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 5, 2018

Rich, Famous, and Suicide

So I can't believe that Kate Spade (55) committed suicide -- Hanging. 

What an amazing fashion designer--so much to live for!

Famous for her gorgeous handbags (that used to be the business my dad was in too). 

Her net worth was $150,000,000!

Why does someone so beautiful, successful, rich, and famous take their life???

Ultimately, none of these things make happy or meaning in life!

Still, it is incredibly hard to understand seemingly having so much and throwing your life away--unless of course, we consider terrible things like severe depression and other horrible illnesses that can break anyone. 

Yet, there seem to be so many of these hugely successful people that take or lose their lives so young and with still so much to give the world:

Alan Turing (41) -- Cyanide

Alexander McQueen (40) - Hanging 

Amy Winehouse (27) -- Alcohol 

Chris Benoit (40) -- Broken Neck

Christine Chubbuck (29) -- Shooting

Dana Plato (34) - Overdose

Ernest Hemingway (61) -- Shooting

Jerzy Kosinski (57) -- Overdose

Kurt Cobain (27) -- Shooting

L'Wren Scott (49) -- Hanging

Lucy Gordon (28) -- Hanging

Marilyn Monroe (36) -- Overdose

Michael Jackson (50) -- Overdose

Mike Alfonso (42) - Hanging

Prince (57) -- Overdose

Robbin Williams (63) --Hanging

Sawyer Sweeten (19) -- Shooting

Sylvia Plath (30) - Gas Oven 

Vincent Van Gogh (37) -- Shooting

Virginia Woolf (59) - Drowning 

Whitney Houston (48) -- Drowning 

G-d should have mercy and help to take away the pain and suffering from people so that they can live and not die prematurely anymore. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 15, 2018

Suicide Back To Go

So I spoke to someone who tried to commit suicide.

This is what they told me:

"When you try to commit suicide, there is no light; there is no Heaven; there is only darkness."

Basically, even though they were desperate and tried to kill themselves, their experience was not one of finding relief, but rather of going to Hell!

So while I really don't know anything, this is what I imagine happens when you try to commit suicide. 

Yes, there is no light--there is only darkness. 

Yes, there is no Heaven.

But I don't believe you go to Hell for being desperate, depressed, alone, and feeling like you have no other way out. 

Instead, what I believe is that you "Go back to GO and you do not collect $200."

In other words, you have to start the Game of Life all over again. 

Since you didn't complete your tests, trials, challenges, and mission...you go back to the beginning. 

You have to relive your life and go through it all over again. 

Who is to say, whether it is a better life or not. 

Presumably, whatever lessons you were supposed to learn the first time around, you still have to complete those lessons. 

So I would think you have to relive a lot of the same. 

I don't know about you, but one of the things I hate worst when things go wrong is to have to go back and redo what I've already done. 

It seems so fruitless, such a waste of time and effort. 

How is that for frustrating--working just to redo what you already did. 

Perhaps that is quite the measured "punishment" for those who end their life prematurely--before G-d says it's time. 

While we frequently say things about wishing to be young again or do it all over again--I think rarely does someone mean having to go thru the same pain points again. 

I assume it's nice to live again, but it's got to be a value-add life--not just a do-over!

So in my mind, while someone on the edge may not have a real choice in what they are doing and in making a decision to take their life--it's probably not a purely rational moment in time--I do think that in so taking their life, they are not doing themselves any favors in the end. 

Because, suicide isn't game over, but rather the game begins all over--from the beginning again. ;-)

(Note: I am not talking about assisted suicide here for someone who is at the end of life and in absolute pain and suffering and it is truly time to go--I am sure that is perfectly okay). 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 28, 2016

Suicide Office To-Dos

So at times, organizations send out notices to their staff with self help suggestions or organizational resources that are available.

One such case is for suicide prevention. 

For example, if you are thinking about suicide, perhaps you should contract the employee assistance program.

It's a good idea to reach out to employees when the messaging is done in a way that makes employees feel they are genuinely cared about and needed, and substantial help is available to them.

People contemplating suicide are in a desperate state of mind and proper handling is nothing less than a life or death situation.

Going to the extreme to make a point for a moment, office reminders about suicide prevention should never be selfish or cavalier, such as:

- Remember to turn the lights out.

- Set your out of office message on.

- Have you done a knowledge transfer to ensure a smooth transition?

If employees are coming away feeling like the organization is just sending out a form message or treating their feelings and situation lightly or in their own interests (such as to remove/reduce liability) that is apt to make things worse and not better.

Please treat employees with genuine dignity, respect, caring, and humanity, and offer them substantive help when they need it.

There are families depending on them and they love and need them. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Jason Kuffer)
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August 24, 2015

My Ashley Madison

So Ashley Madison is now a well-known adulterous website, particularly after hackers stole 37 million records on the site participants, and have released that information to the public.

These tens of millions of users seek companionship for loveless or sexless marriages or perhaps are just plain liars and cheaters--who knows? 

But yikes, now everyone knows!

Huffington reports that divorce lawyers are anticipating a deluge of new clients seeking divorces

And BBC reports that two people have already taken their lives in Canada as a result of the release. 

What is incredible as well are the 15,000 people who used their .gov or .mil accounts presumably to hide their infidelity from their spouses, but now are in potentially huge trouble with their government agencies.

I assume that Ashley Madison prided themselves on their discretion in handling their clients accounts, but lo' and behold the discretion is for naught compliments of some very naughty hackers. 

Privacy is becoming a very lonely and meaningless word whether you are faithful or a cheater--it's all open fodder on the net. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 10, 2015

Skip The Religious Brainwashing

So my wife and I took this picture yesterday of this Spongebob outside a matress store, but which you frequently find at places like a car wash.  

It gets some attention when your driving by. 

This cartoon fellow reminded me of something I heard in a movie trailer recently.

It was about people of faith, but rather than relying on being genuinely thoughtful about their beliefs, instead they adhere to a form of brainwashing, where the people in the community are kept in the fold by closing out any and all outside influences. 

When one of the ladies in the community was asked about this, she replied "You know what someone told me about brainwashing? What's wrong with a clean brain!"

While I am a huge proponent of devotion and service to G-d, I think that relying on intentionally keeping people sheltered is not the path to G-d. 

Especially for the Jewish people, who are known as the "People of the Book" for their intense learning of the Torah, intellectual pursuit and challenge is a source of true faith.

Of course, there are bad influences in society--addictive drugs, alcohol dependence, indiscriminate sex, violent and deviant people, and more--and we want to keep our families away from these things and safe.  

Interestingly, when someone is free from drugs and alcohol, they often say that they have been "clean" for so many months or years. 

If that is what a "clean brain" is--then that is a positive thing. 

But if a clean brain is truly cutting people off from education and legitimate worldly pursuits just to force them to follow and keep them in state of brainwashing, then that level of a geder (i.e. gate or limitation) is destructive to the person and community. 

Recently, a 30-year woman, Faigy Meyer, "who broke free from the iron-tight grip of her ultra-conservative Hassidic community" and had been shunned by her family, leapt from a rooftop to her death.

The term iron-grip used in the article sounds like a medieval torture device used to force or keep people at bay, and if that is what the "religious" community is doing so-to-say to limit free choice of their members, then that is not honest belief and practice. 

For myself personally, I lived for some years in a highly religious community that despite having many wonderful people and families was for the most part not very accepting of anyone who believed or practiced not exactly like them--there was no room for that. 

One time, the legacy Rabbi on the pulpit (not the current one who is an extremely fine person that I greatly respect) even warned the members to beware of people in their midst who were not true worshippers (and could be a harmful influence). 

In a closed community thinking, one can feel quite alienated and a huge void of spirituality. 

Thank G-d, in our community with the Magen David Sephardic Synagogue, we have found not only a beautiful love of Hashem, but that mixed with acceptance for everyone to come and participate.

Now we actually love to go to synagogue and look forward to it. It has become a central part of our lives (similar in our own way to how it had been for my beloved father). 

Take away the iron-tight grip, the forcing, the brainwashing and fear of the regular outside world, and you have people from many walks of life, intellectual pursuits and experiences come together to seek and worship G-d with a pure and open heart. 

In a way, it is similar to technology: if you have a closed system (not connected to the Internet and the outside), you have a safe tool, but it is very limited as a standalone. Alternatively, hook the computer up to the Internet and while you take some risks browsing the limits of the virtual world, you come away with so much more you can do and richness in the experience. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle and Andy Blumenthal)
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July 5, 2015

Big Data, Small Moments

There is a definite rhythm to our lives. 

And by analyzing the peak times of Google search terms, we can get a good picture of what it is (as Seth Stephens-Davidowitz notes in the New York Times Sunday Review).

- From starting a new day to taking care of bathroom business, looking for healing, and even goofing off. 

- Midday is some personal time for shopping, travel plans, and a news update. 

- The evening is a nice dinner and maybe some sexual intimacy.

- The night time is scariest with anxiety about health, leading to panic and thoughts of suicide, and easing off with drugs and pornography. 

- As we roll towards the early hours of the next day, we have a philosophical reawakening with contemplation about the meaning of life and our place in it. 

If we can get all this just from some data analytics of Google search terms, can you imagine what else we can learn about the masses and YOU, the individuals that make it up. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

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May 5, 2015

Freak Accidents, Illnesses, And Events

Dave Goldberg, the CEO of Survey Monkey (and the husband of Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook), died suddenly in a freakish accident falling off a treadmill and hitting his head. 

Poof...dead at age 47!

Unfortunately, we hear all the time about these type of tragic occurrences to people.

And of course tragedy knows no bounds--so while sh*t happens everyday to people from all walks of life, we tend to pay more attention when it's someone we know and love or when it's splashed wildly in the news about fabulously successful people we admire and follow. 

- Entertainer, Michael Jackson (50) dead from drug intoxication after suffering cardiac arrest.

- Actor, Robin Williams (63) dead by hanging suicide. 

- Singer, John Lennon (40) shot in the back by someone he had autographed an album for.

- Martial Artist, Bruce Lee (33) died on a movie set from a cerebral edema.

- Model, Marilyn Monroe (33) dead by drug overdose.

- President, John F. Kennedy (46) dead by assassination.

Whether by a plane crash or car accident, drowning or fire, poison or electrocution, a criminal or animal attackterrorism, war, or natural disaster, a heart attack, stroke, or cancer, through suicide, punishment, or mercy killing...regardless of the probabilities and statistics, many people never make it all the way to "a ripe old age." 

We feel bad, shake our heads, say a few words of sympathy perhaps, when we hear of these lives cut short.

But like the TV shows, Six Feet Under (HBO) or 1000 Ways To Die (Spike)--there are a near endless number of horrible ways to go--and they can take you at literally any time.

While we can't stop living and just sit around worrying all the time about all the bad things that can happen, we do need to remember that anything can happen at any time (and these things are not so freakish after all)--no one is beyond the Angel of Death, no one should be arrogant, and we should make the most of every single moment that G-d lovingly grants to us.  ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Military Health)
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December 11, 2014

Finals Week

This was a funny (-sad) picture right outside the new Science and Engineering Building at the prestigious George Washington University today. 

It looks much like a noose and is lit up by the glass and modern finishes of this new building. 

So a colleague says jokingly to me "Is that because of [the stress of] finals week?"

Now execution and suicide are definitely not a laughing matter...

But what a juxtaposition of this gorgeous new building going up and the old time hangman's noose (almost) hanging down. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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August 29, 2013

Outrage At Bogus Judge Baugh

Injustice, Injustice does Montana Judge Todd Baugh pursue. 

G-d, hope you are listening...

BBC reported about this bogus Judge Baugh who called a 14-year old girl that was raped by her 49-year old teacher, "as much in control of the situation" as the man who assaulted her. 

The poor girl later committed suicide, which her mother probably rightfully attributed to the distress from the rape and aftermath. 

And what does the judge do to mete out justice? He sentences the rapist to 15-years in prison AND suspends the sentence for all but 31 days with 1 day time already served. 

The victim was raped and is dead and the rapist gets not 30-years, but 30 days!

While the judge who is under pressure to resign has all of a sudden expressed his deep remorse, it is almost unbelievable that this is someone charged with seeing that justice is served. 

Shock, disbelief, outrage...what can you say about such a justice. 

While there is certainly a time and place for empathy, compassion, and mercy--would anyone in their right mind, see this as one of those cases? 

For all who believe that this world is not the end, but just the journey, I'd venture to guess that the 14-year old girl is not done either with her rapist or the judge who mocked her suffering and death. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 3, 2013

When Desperation Turns Deadly

It was shocking to read that suicide deaths in the U.S. have now surpassed deaths by motor vehicle accidents.

In 2010, there were over 38,000 suicides compared with almost 34,000 motor vehicle deaths (or 14.1 suicides per 100,000 people aged 10 and older versus 10.7 deaths from motor vehicles). 

Motor vehicle deaths have been, thank G-d, declining since 1999, while suicides are unfortunately up by almost a third (31%). 

Suicide for working adults were double other demographics (and highest for those in their 50's), while for teens and the elderly, the rates stayed flat. 

According to the Wall Street Journal (3 May 2012), for middle-age people 35-64, suicide is now the 4th highest cause of death after cancer, heart disease, and unintentional injury (e.g. drowning). 

Suicide prevention efforts that have typically been directed to at-risk teenagers and the elderly are now being looked at for greater focus on middle-aged adults. 

The article points to tough economic times (with the recession of 2007) as a potential factor in the increase. 

I would assume also that the 10 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan have contributed to the increase as well due to posttraumatic stress disorder. 

Yet, suicide is a very final act of escape for those acutely suffering from economic hardships, the horrors of war, and depression--and we can only imagine how much pain these people must be feeling to do the unthinkable. 

I am familiar with teenagers and adults taking or attempting suicide--some have survived and others have died. 

For those lucky enough to survive, they have the opportunity to rebuild their lives and try again, while those who didn't make it, their loved ones suffer with the emptiness that was once a loving and caring individual, part of their lives. 

I was taught in Yeshiva that suicide is a very grave sin and people don't have the right to take the life that G-d granted them, but in my mind, those who suffer so as to attempt or commit suicide are probably not in a state of mind or in full control of themselves to be fully responsible. 

It is worth thinking about that if 38,000 actually commit suicide a year, how many more attempt it, contemplate it often, or otherwise consider it occasionally. 

People need help coping. I remember learning in English class in college that "all men live lives of quiet desperation," and I wonder how many are out there suffering inside--at times desperate, but usually putting a smile on their faces. 

We need to look beyond the surface of what people are going through, have empathy, have mercy, and give plentifully of your time, and kindness to all--you may just be saving a desperate life from taking that one last and unforgiving step. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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March 14, 2013

The Not Useless Machine--You!



This machine is hilarious. It is called the "useless machine," well...because it is utterly useless. 

When you push the switch to turn it on, it does only one thing--a lever comes out and hits the switch in the other direction to turn itself off and the lever retracts. 

There is another version of this with eight switches (here), called the "advanced useless machine," and it will turn all switches backed off--however many of the eight are turned on. 

Why do we create such mind-numbing inventions?

Because,

- We can.

- It's funny.

- It goes viral.

On some deeper level, I think we can connect to this idea of uselessness in parts of our mundane life--where we get into a habit, and basically do the same thing day after day--until we ask ourselves, where is the meaning of it all? Is our existence really important? Will anyone ever really care that we were even on this planet (for whatever period of life G-d grants us)?

Like this box, there are people and times when they just wish they could turn themselves off--some attempt it!

But we have to realize that we are given a choice every day to love and care for the ones we are blessed with, to do good selfless acts of kindness, and to try to give something back to the world--however big or small--even if it's just a useless box that makes people laugh and introspect. ;-)


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October 13, 2012

Sorry Amanda Todd


Just watched this video with my daughter about Amanda Todd, the 15 year old girl from Canada who hung herself on Wednesday. 

She made some mistakes with some guys--looks like she was taken advantage of--and then she was ruthlessly bullied, tormented, tagged, shamed, followed, beaten, and encouraged to kill herself. 

After depression, anxiety, drugs, alcohol, cutting, and drinking bleach, she finally hung herself and is gone. 

To those horrible people that pursued this young women and essentially murdered her--you are vile and disgusting and G-d will one day bring you to final judgement. 

To the family of Amanda Todd, our heart, prayers, and sympathy goes out to you--your daughter and all decent people like her deserve better from society. 

If we can only learn from this tragedy, perhaps her death will not have been in vain. 

She wrote: "I have nobody. I need somebody. :(" 

Hopefully, she is now with the heavenly father--and has not just somebody, but the one that matters the most.

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