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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Serious Matter

I'm a pretty silly person in general. Those who know me the best see this side of me constantly. That being said, I am also extremely reserved, especially around people I don't know very well, or in situations where silliness is not appropriate(such as at church.) My primary reason for wanting to start a blog was so that more people could get to know the real me through my writing. I quite enjoy documenting the goofy and weird things I say, think, and do.
My other reason for writing, is to try and express some of the deeper and more meaningful thoughts that I have on occasion. Lately I have felt the desire to publicly share these thoughts. There is one issue in particular that I have wanted to write about for some time.

There are many common expressions in our western vernacular which, when we really think about their origins, should probably be eliminated from our speech. Phrases such as "I got jew'd out of such and such," or "I totally got gypped," or "he is such a retard," etc.
One common phrase in particular bothers me above all others, and that is the flippant expression of a desire to commit suicide.
If you listen for it, you will find that young people use phrases to this effect all the time, i.e. "this homework assignment makes me want to kill myself", "if I have to go do such and such one more time I'm going to slit my wrists", and so on.

I have personally been acquainted with far too many people who have committed suicide. I have been to their funerals; I have seen their families devastated by their single horrific deed. Suicide has never been, and never will be, a casual or humorous event. How is it that these expressions found their way into our language in the first place? I can't imagine how it would feel to make such a comment to a friend only to discover that they had lost a loved one to suicide. This would be beyond the common foot in the mouth, this would be beyond a minor faux pas, this would be a terrible display of unsympathetic, uncharitable, ignorant, dare I say sinful behavior.

What would it be like if we were as flippant with an equally serious matter? What about rape? Can you imagine expressions of committing rape being used casually? Try these on for size:
"If she turns me down one more time I am totally going to rape her!"
"That girl is so rude...I hope she gets raped."
Not good is it? Such language is unthinkably horrific. I think that the casual phrases involving suicide are equally horrific.

I am absolutely certain that any person who has witnessed the effects of suicide would never, under any circumstance, make a joke or flippant remark about killing themselves.

I don't often get up on a soap box, but on this matter I feel very strongly. I ask that we each do our part to try and eliminate such phrases from our speech.

1 comment:

Call me Mimi said...

Robbie, you make very good points. Thanks for writing this blog. I love to read it, but don't take the time to comment. We have had many suicides in our ward and it is a very touch subject around here. There are event two families who had suicides in their families prior to moving to the ward. There is no excuse for using any of the flippant "sayings" about suicide and many other things which are hurtful to others who have experienced this so very closely. Keep thinking and keep writing. Linda