Thursday, January 08, 2009

Don't Believe the Theme From M*A*S*H...

Somebody jumped into the murky depths of the Pasig today. They fished out his body early this morning. I only got a few details from the news report. Our jumper may have been more than a little unstable when he did the deed that finally did him in.

Three years ago there was a report about a woman-- likely not too stable herself-- who climbed up a billboard. The cops managed to keep her from jumping. At least I think that's what happened. My memory's fuzzy from all those sleep deprived nights teaching Engrishee.

I'm making a big assumption as to cause here, but I'm betting a good number of people are driven to Suicide Alley on account of things more pressing and world-shaking than having a lousy love life or lack thereof. Not that these things haven't driven people to suicide, mind you.    
While honoring the life instinct is in principle always a good thing, I'm left to wonder why we work so hard to save lives when it's very likely that the people who want to end their own-- like our unstable Billboard Climbers and Pasig Floodway Jumpers-- find little real reason to live. Our knee-jerk salvific action-- getting the cops to keep insane old women from jumping off that South Super Highway billboard-- doesn't address the real causes of their flight from existence. 

Is it ultimately a kindness when we can only save their lives now-- while they're noisy, newsworthy and inconvenient-- but later forget about them and what causes their lives to be reft of joy? Do we honor the life-instinct because we give a damn or do we save because we are inconvenienced by the latest disturbance in our morning routines?  

If I ever decide to jump off the Pasig Floodway bridge, I'm doing it quietly, to save everyone else the bother.    

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