Every power and right carries threat and responsibility.
As students of behavior, and with a rudimentary knowledge of philosophy, we can identify a power that only people seem to possess; something called free will.
As a great power, we revel in it throughout our childhood. Our first car, our first experience away from home, our first great financial decision are all empowering actions that declare “I have free will!”
There is a terrible downside to free will, one that is touched upon all too seldom because of its terror. And for those of you who tremble easily, you’ll be forgiven for closing this page and visiting again next week.
This terror exists in every being that possesses free will. It lives in you, and for that reason you will be afraid.
This terror is what we call suicide. It is the decision of an individual with free will, exercising that free will in such a way as to end their life.
As students of behavior we must commit ourselves to an impartial, unbiased, and evenly balanced study of all things that behave. Suicide is one of those things, and we must study it. This next series will touch upon suicide in many forms, not only the form in which you know it best, and fear it most.
Through these articles I have come to meet many of you, and know some of you have been touched by these dark forces. I extend my condolences. Many years ago a cousin decided to take her life, at such a young age, and it still pains me to this day. I have some understanding of the forces that were acting upon her, but can never know exactly what went through her mind in those final days.
To her I have not ceased thinking about what she did, and what it may reveal about myself, society, and life in general. Here are those thoughts in a few short essays.