Are we all selfish because we put our oxygen masks on first before we put it on the innocent and helpless child or senior sitting next to us when the airplane is going down? Surface level, according to the definition, yes. Yes, we are. Now take into account the whole situation and go a bit deeper. If we are the adults who are stronger and of a more clear mind, in order to save the child or the senior next to us, we have no choice but to save ourselves first with regard to putting that mask on. Depending on the individuals, the child won’t know what to do next and the senior won’t be fast enough or of a clear mind. Yet we do not consider that to be a selfish act. We have all globally accepted that as the best, most right thing to do and we all comply when the time comes (provided we had the training of course).
Why is committing suicide NOT a selfish act? For the same reason that we put our oxygen masks on first. Survival. It may not seem to make sense – committing suicide in order to survive – but it may very well be just that. It’s not survival of the physical. It’s survival of the mind and soul. All the person wants is peace. The celebrity deaths have forced us to open up about mental health. So for those who commit suicide, and I’m referring to those kids and adults who were struggling to survive despite what their inner voice was telling them to do, suicide is a sense of freedom. They have considered other options. They have tried to continue to live the picture perfect life as brother, or sister, or father, or business mogul, performer, husband, or wife. They did that. They are doing that. They may have even gone to therapy. They have been and are putting on that smile like you asked and are trying to abide by the “fake it until you make it” attitude with “it” referring to being happy. They did. But it made them and still makes them suffer because it is exhausting. It is exhausting to be someone you have no connection to at the time. It is exhausting to put on a facade. They were being selfless for years – for you and for me – but they just didn’t have it in them anymore. And for that one moment, they gave in to their inner voice. But it was not a spur of the moment decision. And I’m not trying to suggest that anyone even remotely consider suicide as a way to “improve” their life. I’m just thinking about how committing suicide is NOT a selfish act when you go a little deeper to think about it.