The Evils of Self-Immolation

by A Survivor
(Cochin, India)

Self-Immolation of Buddhist Monk

Self-Immolation of Buddhist Monk

First, of course, we have no business telling anyone what to do, even if it is suicide. However, being the survivor of a suicide in the family, I do know that it sends some very negative messages that cloud the whole lifetime of the survivors. It confirms to the weak that peace is an external state beyond individual control, and suicide is the only way out.

It is capitulating to the enemy, not respecting the possibility of any other alternatives, political or personal, to help build a peaceful life of integrity. It is saying "I have nothing better to contribute to peace and my culture than destroying my life here." Other valuable forms of service I could have performed throughout my life for my people and the planet are inconsequential.

And when in history has any number of suicides caused tyrants to step down?

Yes, suicide is considered by some to be a heroic measure adding stature to the person who has made such a "sacrifice." But who wants to advance to one's goal by climbing up the bodies of his friends?

To so closely identify with a cause or culture that an individual's life matters less than his death smacks of the fanaticism that can destroy the very culture held to be so important to preserve. To see how all lives are precious and should not be sacrificed on this or that tyrant's altar is important. Resist, strike, and hide if you must, but make the evil earn their doomed destiny by dealing with you as long as possible.

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