Yes, it’s that time again: the time when all 3 of my professors put their evil scheming heads together and decide to have all our exams within four school days of each other. One tomorrow, one on November 4th, one on November 5th. I realize that this is a handy amount of material to test on, since in that time you can cover two (or, if you are my Geology professor, five) chapters. I can hardly complain; after all, I do alright on the exams, and my only pressure is to get an A on my Math exam to make up for my dismal performance on the last one. I have gotten 100% on all our quizzes also, so hopefully that will help.

My WPI class starts on Thursday. They do an odd thing where the first day of class, tomorrow, is actually a Friday schedule; this at least exempts me from worrying about that. Worry, because I am terrified that I will forget to attend that class all the time: such a creature of habit am I that I will probably just hang around Clark as usual until 1:00 and suddenly have a heart attack when I realize my WPI class started then. Ian has kindly offered to call me as a reminder, and embarrassing as that may feel I will probably have to take him up on that offer. Kind boy.

I have spent much time thinking about why we’re alive. Obviously the base reason is that my parents had a good night one August; but more than that, if somebody asked me why they were alive, what could I say? There’s the obviously Christian answer: “God has a plan for us, and that’s enough to know.” For a non-believer, what then? I cannot concieve of why one would bother to stay alive if you didn’t know that there was some reason you exist. I think many people make their own reasons: to make money, to become famous, to save peoples’ lives, to have fun. But if you are unhappy with life, why not just end it all? Perhaps that is why 30,622 people killed themselves in 2001, 712 of them in Washingon. They found this: that “The bleakness of the landscape is unimaginable. It is as friendless and alien as a Dali painting. Ordinary concerns, such as work or friends, have no place here. Futility muffles thought; time elongates cruelly. Who is to blame for this situation? Those with depression think it must be them. Pointlessness and self-loathing govern them. So the natural final step is suicide. People with depression don’t kill themselves to frighten an errant boyfriend. They kill themselves because it is the obvious and right thing to do at that point. It is the only positive step they can think of…” (from here). I know that feeling, and if I was braver perhaps I wouldn’t be here today…thank God I am, though, because life is so very worth living despite what hormones and emotions may say contrariwise.

I’m afraid that BCS – fine as that institution is – calluses us to the idea of Christianity. I left BCS feeling that Christianity was just something I “did,” not a real true belief. Church-going remained a holdover most of last year, and not attending forced guilt more than anything else. But when you strip away all the BCSishness of it, I find the most amazing thing: that cliche is true. More and more I am realizing personally that I don’t live for tomorrow, or to see my friends, or to graduate from college (??). I live for Christ, and to find where my life fits into His grand plan. Jeremiah 29:11 says it all: ” ‘I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” If that isn’t affirming and a good reason to live, I don’t know what is.

– KF –

5 thoughts on “Life in this Universe

  1. I’m sorry, but I reject that suicide is ever a positive step. If you’re not happy with life, you work towards changing it, you don’t run away. I will admit that there’s a certain kind of bravery to finishing the act, just as there’s a certain amount of bravery involved in skipping school or stealing clothes from a store.<br />
    <br />
    If you look at the quote you use, the entire part after "Those with depression think it must be them…" is looking from the point of view of the suicidal person, it is not Kay McKall saying that suicide is a positive step. "It is the only positive step they can think of…" implies that there are other, more positive steps that other people can help them with. Using the quote as an endorsement of suicide is extremely misleading.

  2. I don’t think it was meant as an endorsement of suicide, but more as an explanation for a seemingly unimaginable act. Most people can’t understand why someone would want to kill themselves… but to a depressed, suicidal person, it seems like the most logical solution. The problem is me, so I need to get rid of the problem. It’s the ultimate in self-treatment.

  3. Exactly – the idea isn’t that suicide is actually the right solution, but it seems like it at the time. I am certainly not saying that could ever be the right thing: that’s my whole point, is that life is far to precious to go wasting in that way.

  4. I don’t think even the suicidal person actually sees it as a “positive” step, but more the only option. If you’ve ever been depressed (not just glum or low, but really depressed), you know that it’s one of the most aweful feelings in the world. Even if you know it’s irrational, it doesn’t make it go away. In on of my psych classes we talked about how people w/ bipolar dissorder often commit suicide while they are on their way down, not actually at the lowest point. It’s the fear and dread of what they know is comming. It’s a scarry thing

  5. Where on earth did you get that anyone here as endorsing Suicide!? And I think you miss the point klondike, when you’re depressed, like really depressed, you’re not thinking to yourself things like, “Oh, well hey, what do you know, I’m depressed, I can think of so many positive options for my life right now!” When you’re feeling dark and depressed you tend to think of dark things. Besides, there is a ton of music out there that is dark and generally encouraging of things like suicide. Also when people consider suicide they don’t consider the effect they will have on other people. Which I think is the best way to let people who are considering suicide know that people do care about them. To try and illustrate what the world would be like without them. Hope is what they need, and understanding.

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