Baby Boomers and Suicide

The rise in suicides and filicide-suicide among baby boomers is attributed to the recession, according to numerous media reports and studies like one recently published in the September/October issue of the journal Public Health Reports. How unfortunate that those victims saw no remedy to their dilemma except to opt out. 

Some things in life are beyond our control.  In his book “The Purpose Driven Life” Rick Warren wrote, “No one is immune to pain or insulated from suffering, and no one gets to skate through life problem-free. Life is a series of problems. Every time you solve one, another is waiting to take its place.”  We cannot avoid every negative occurrence that affects us, but we can decide how we react to those daunting events.

Copping out by commiting suicide is a selfish choice and should not be an option.  Suicide and murder have a prolonged effect on the family members and friends left behind.  As long as there is life, there is hope.  Christians in distress often rely on prayer to overcome dire circumstances, non-believers may choose other resources.  Whatever works to help one cope is better than the finality of death.

I strongly believe in the value of constantly reading inspirational materials. Not only do the positive messages facilitate getting through the hard times with an optimistic attitude, but they provide hope and alternatives to settling in a perceived doom and gloom existence.  Years ago, I bought two life changing books; one by James Allen titled “As A Man Thinketh” the other was Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s “The Power of Positive Thinking.”  Those books not only uplifted my wounded spirit, they enabled me to see things from a different perspective, and thereby redirected the course of my life.  

Life is short enough as it is. Problems can be remedied, but suicide is final.  Whatever dark road you see ahead could look brighter tomorrow, but if you are dead there will be no tomorrow.

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing:  therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”  Deuteronomy 30:19

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Taming the Bookworm

When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.

That prognostic quote by Erasmus Desiderius describes me to a tee.  I love books the way some folk crave chocolate, and collecting them has been my passion since childhood when I promised myself that one day I would have my own personal library. 

A driving quest for knowledge and adventure fueled my rapid advancement from primers to encyclopedias.  By the time I was in my twenties I had accumulated over 300 books and at one period in my life I truthfully boasted to anyone who asked that I had read every book I owned.  

Over the years, as my collection grew by a few thousand, my passion for book buying soon surpassed the time I had to read them.  Subsequently, my treasures began taking over my small apartment like autumn leaves lay claim to a lawn.  I stockpiled books in boxes on the closet shelves and floor, and inside plastic containers placed under my bed.  Box upon box of books occupied nooks and crannies everywhere in my home, and whenever I went out, I always tucked a book in my shoulder bag to read along the way.

My area of interest has varied by decade. In the 1960s, Harlequin and other romance novels held my attention, until I abruptly switched to volumes on social issues and history.  During the late seventies, I added Sci-Fi and bone-chilling horror tales by story-tellers Stephen King and Dean Koontz.  I felt compelled to educate myself about technology in the 1980’s, and bought computer manuals to sharpen my skills.  Health consciousness and maturity has made me an avid devotee to publications on fitness and nutrition in recent years, but I remain open to anything that will enlighten, educate or entertain me.   

I will always have a love affair with books, I just don’t buy them as often as used to, but occasionally while browsing in a book store, I yield to the temptation to purchase a popular hard cover or paperback.  I considered buying a Kindle, but decided that carrying it around would still be like toting a book.  However, I have been liberated by audio books; downloading a bestseller to my IPod not only feeds my habit, but lightens the load.

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