The boxing day tragedy
Nearly a month ago, indeed precisely on Boxing Day, a tragedy of immense proportion occurred in our land. Not much attention has been paid to it. Only about two commentaries or so have been voiced since the event occurred on the 26th of last month. I pray I am wrong. There are only two reasons I can hazard. It is probably that we have been consumed in the waves of political pugnacity of these times and which has seized the land and is now heading for a crescendo. On the air waves, in newspapers, in clubs and cafeterias, it is all about the political gladiators and their massive crowds. Another reason is the seeming deadened attitude which bloodletting has foisted on Nigerians, particularly on those who would normally be hyper-sensitive to deaths and the manner they may have come about. Deaths, violent deaths have become one of those things, just another statistics in our land today.
I am referring to the death of Aisha Omolola, a student of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. The 300-level girl sneaked out behind the festivities of Christmas, the dancing and rejoicing, et al, to commit suicide. While her peers were seeping beverages by the seaside and in the quiet of the woods where young men and young girls are accustomed to making their rendezvous, she went quietly behind the screen to gulp insecticide. What could have been her reason? Was she jilted? What could have led her to take such an extreme step, that death was the answer for her private agony? Here was a young girl with a promising future, who had everything going for her in terms of material wellbeing if she got her acts right. Come to think of it, she had only one more session to go. Strange things have started to happen in our land. I have always thought that it is people who have seen more of the world and felt defeated in the struggle of life that resort to taking their own lives. In recent years, a few have plunged into the lagoon in Lagos in search of death. One was rescued. But a young girl who should ordinarily be aiming for the moon committing suicide? Very strange, indeed.
She claimed she did not enjoy parental love and things were difficult for her. She therefore decided to pay the parents back in their “own coin” with lovelessness , by inflicting maximum pain on them. Here was what she put down in the note she left behind:
“Just like I said, if I am no more, please hold my family especially my mum and dad responsible. I have tried to be the best I can be, stayed away from them just because they blamed me for their mistakes and they can’t love, help and take care of me like their own. My mum has made life a living hell for me because she is bipolar and frustrated, accusing me of being a witch trying to kill her and a cursed child even though my brother is responsible for my education and upkeep. The only thing she helps me with is my feeding money. I have gone out of my way to take care of my Mum by giving her food and money and I still end up being her problems. My brother cannot stick to his promise anymore cause he feels I am not his responsibility and I have my own family. I hope and believe now that I am gone it will bring them relief and happiness.”
To her friends, she regretted leaving them the way she did. She wrote: “I am so sorry Collins I had to leave you this way. Maryam Olayemi you have been more than a bestie to me. I am so sorry to all my friends and well-wishers. I look happy but I am nothing but a broken child.” She went on to say she did not believe in God anymore because she did not see her purpose anymore. “Please bury me immediately I am found dead. I love you all so much.” She left her phone password, ATM PIN and stated the amount in her account.
What a drastic and inconsiderate, indeed cruel action to take. Suicide is not a new phenomenon in our world. What is worrisome is the increasing spate of suicide among young girls. It was reported in the Internet that the rate of suicide cases among girls aged between 15 and 19 hit a record high in the United Kingdom last year. Among men of all ages suicide rate is falling. Over all, last year showed the biggest drop in 20 years.
Sociologists and psychologists must know they have a lot of work on their hands. The general belief that suicide is mostly poverty-induced is not any longer borne out by evidence. Indeed, studies are showing that affluent societies top the league table with Belgium leading in Western Europe (20.7 persons in every 100,000) whereas in Afghanistan it is 4.7 per 100,000; Iraq and Syria, 1.9 per 100,000. The studies show that suicide is almost unheard of in the Caribbean. In Japan, it is 18.5 per 100,000, France, 17.7 in every 100,000 persons; Switzerland 17.2; United States, 15.3 in every 100,000; Germany, 13.6; Sweden, 14.8; Austria, 15.6; Luxemburg, 13.5; Netherland 12. 6. Eastern Europe, in Russia, suicide rate is 31.9 in every 100,000 persons, Lithuania, 31.9. In Asia, South Korea leads with 26.9 persons per 100,000 and Guyana leads in South America with 29.2 per 100,000. Lesotho ranks highest in Africa (21.2 in every 100,000. In South Africa the rate of suicide is 11.6 per 100,000; Nigeria, 9.5 per 100,000 and Ghana 5.4 per 100,000.
There are all kinds of reasons why people end their lives. These range from a feeling of hopelessness, loss of self-esteem, feeling of shame and depression. What is not often added is ignorance of what life is, its purpose and consequences of tampering with life, either of one’s own or that of our fellow men.
Every life is a gift of the Creator, God Almighty, permitted out of His love and mercy. When a person takes his own life, what he is saying is that he rejects the gift and love of his Creator. It should be plain that whoever rejects the mercy and love of the Most High would know that he is on his own. The second point is that everyone comes to this world out of his own request. Back home in Paradise we could not partake of the life of splendor there. We needed to develop to self-consciousness and maturity to be able to do so. The luminosity of the Light occasioned by the Creator’s vicinity could not permit it. In answer to our longing, we were sent down to this world and as far as this earth which is a cooler region— spiritual seeds sown as it were in the world of matter. Influences in the world of matter are to bring us to an awakening. We develop gradually employing our free will to make free choices, and we were tended by Teachers who come from time to time to guide us, the most famous in Christendom in our part here being Moses.
In Persia, now Iran, there was Zoroaster; in China Lao-Tse; In India, Buddha. There were Prophets who taught us and warned of disobedience against the Will of the Most High. At no time was mankind left without guidance and Teachers. The Lord Christ, a Part of Truth that the Most High is, had to come when all efforts by the Teachers of mankind were unavailing as human beings rejected their teachings. Where there was semblance of recognition and grasp, mankind soon formed religions around the teachings. Progressively the teachings became distorted with man adding his own to them. The Teachers were scorned, and harmed grievously, in some cases, killed. The teachings were for our development and for our familiarization with the laws of the House which is Creation in which there are many Mansions (Immeasurably vast Realms of existence in Creation).
What I am getting at is that everyone is here on earth at his own request. Over time because of heavy burden mankind have accumulated through wrong doing, there are repeated earth lives so we can make amendments and atone. This means each person, in addition to coming at his own request, is here because of his fault, seeking opportunity to clear karmaic debts. Aisha Omolola heaps a greater part of the blame for her plight on her parents. Most people do not know that children are no more than guests of their parents. They are autonomous personalities. The parents provide them the bodies which are the dwellings for the souls.
These are discarded at death. The bodies are formed in the mother’s womb with materials from what she eats. At a certain stage of pregnancy, the child who has been hovering among several others desirous of opportunities of another earthly life, enters to take possession of the womb. This happens when pregnancy has gone half-way. It is the entry that gives the woman the first kicks. With the entry she begins to glow. The child succeeds among the several others because they share corresponding strengths or weaknesses or because there are some other ties which space will not permit me to go into for now. It suffices to say that in consequence of the similar qualities radiation threads begin to be woven from the hovering soul and the developing body in the prospective mother.
It is these radiation threads that serve as the bridge through which the soul saunters into the womb of its mother. Sometimes, a stronger woman in the vicinity of the expectant mother may serve to influence the attraction of the waiting soul into her womb. That is when we talk of a black sheep, a total stranger who has nothing in common in character with its parents. It is not for nothing expectant mothers are cautioned about the company they keep and when they go out in their conditions. It does not require much to sense the kind of child a woman who is fond of going to parties will attract into the family.
The only responsibility the parents have is to help the child maintain its dwelling place it received from them until it is grown enough to maintain it by itself which comes with puberty, say about 18 years. It may vary a little depending on how fast the body of the child grows. It is expected that the child will be afforded reasonable education or skills for which it should be grateful during the period. The parents do not owe the children any living beyond this point.
Each child is born into circumstances of its own choice and the circumstances it deserves. As far as the Law of Life is concerned the whole objective is spiritual development and maturity of the soul. Where the circumstances are harsh they are to serve as tools for the child’s inner awakening. If a child has to go some distance to fetch water for domestic use, it is what it needs to awaken from within. With the awakening and familiarization with the Will of the Creator, the situation begins to ease, and the child begins to make progress. The progress may manifest in the parents relocating or the child taken away from the environment, perhaps to a boarding house, or to live with some other family.
The autonomy of each person is such that if a child works at home for the father, he will need to be paid the same wages a complete outsider would receive. Children, therefore, have no special rights over their parents and vice versa once the children reach the certain age already mentioned in the foregoing. This will certainly shock us. The fact that mankind have been living in ignorance does not make it right nor does it annul the principles governing Creation.
The story of Omolola is incomplete with the parents not saying anything. They keep mute, perhaps out of shock or rightly, not wanting to join issues with their daughter. The definition of love by all of us is differnet from what is mediated from Above. Love, rightly understood, gives benefit not comfort. It is severe. But what we all crave is indulgent love, which in the end makes us dependent, or automatic inheritors of the parents’ fortune. Parents themselves lacking in understanding work to leave what the children and their children will need throughout their lives on earth. Higher knowledge spreading on earth today teaches that whoever takes struggle away from a child has done the child a great deal of harm. He is an enemy of the child. The unfolding of the abilities and talents which the child bears for the benefit of mankind are paralysed. The child may live well on his inheritance quite all right, but it may end up not fulfilling the purpose of his sojourn this time around. He will have to repeat life on earth and will be born in bitter circumstances that will compel him to rise with the sweat of his own brow. However, the cycle is closing fast and with it the narrowing of chances for further reincarnations.
The young girl undoubtedly believes that by ending her life she is free from the burden of life. For her and for all who commit suicide their suffering and unspeakable torment will just have started. They are dragged into the dark region of the Beyond where there is no possible help of Light. It is worse for the one who does not believe in the existence of God. He will be blind and deaf and lame. He can only crawl in a barren land filled with sharp stones against which he constantly knocks his feet and head because he would have shut out his ethereal organs meant for these through his doubts and non-belief! What Aisha and others of her ilk requires is our loving thoughts that they may come to the recognition of their errors in time and seek help…which may take decades or centuries in coming. But is there any more such time for them and for all of us? The Lord Christ has said that only His Father knows the time of the end.
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