Saturday, 2nd December 2023

You could be committing suicide!

By Shadrach P. Boussa
30 June 2016   |   4:28 am
Before I explain what I meant by “You could be committing suicide!” permit me to remind you about the divine gift called Time. Time is the greatest natural resource.

Feeling blue

“The tragedy of life is not that we die, but what dies inside a man while he lives.” –Albert Schweitzer

What an irony of life that some people commit suicide on a daily basis, yet they’re still alive! Yes, you heard me right! And you may not only be anxious but somewhat furious and agitated to know why someone should commit suicide while still be alive. Okay, I understand how you feel. But please, don’t crucify me yet. Calm down. Take a deep breath and relax. I believe by the time you finish reading this article, not only will you thank me profusely, but your lifestyle could be turned around 360 degrees!

Before I explain what I meant by “You could be committing suicide!” permit me to remind you about the divine gift called Time. Time is the greatest natural resource. All about life from birth to the grave is just a process of using and spending of time. You see, there are two gifts all humans received from God: a Task or Purpose to fulfil and a Time commensurate to the Task or Purpose for which we are sent here to accomplish. Your divine mandate and mission in life is spread along the time available to you –the number of years you’ll live. But how you make use of your time is solely left to you! You could decide to Use it or Misuse it, or Abuse it. The choice is yours!

So, if you engage in activities or have habits that Don’t Add Value to Your Life, Your Career or Family, or even other people’s lives, then, you are committing suicide! Because you’re wasting one of Life’s greatest natural resources –Time. Again, when you get ‘addicted’ to unproductive activities, you’re killing time! And when you kill the time God has given to you, you’re invariably killing your own life: You’re committing suicide! Do you see the picture? I bet you do.

There are some things you do or habits that caress you like the soothing fingers of a loved maid, yet they gradually but progressively kill you but leave you alive! For the sake of space, I would discuss only two of them. And they are Procrastination and Excessive TV Watching.

“Procrastination is the thief of time,” so goes the trite saying. But, to me, that is an understatement. Because a thief could be caught, and probably made to pay for all that he has stolen. Procrastination does more harm than just mere stealing of time. It kills life! How? When you postpone what needs to be done today till tomorrow, you’ve not only deferred time, but have succeeded in subtracting some part of your life!

You tell yourself: “One of these days I’ll do so and so,” and you never did! And one of these days will turn out to be none of these days! In other words, you will not accomplish anything worthwhile in life, if you’re a habitual procrastinator. ‘Old Man Procrastination’ stands within the shadow of every human being, waiting his opportunity to spoil your chances of success in life.

Now, put on your lenses and take a closer look at the word Procrastinate. What did you see? Did I hear you say “Nothing?” Hahaha! Please don’t mind me. It’s because of another word that’s subtly embedded in it. Let me show you. Now, take away the first three letters ‘PRO’ and ‘IN’. The word that’s left looks like this: ‘CRASTATE’. Move the letter ‘R’ and place it after the first ‘T’. The new word reads ‘CASTRATE’. And to castrate means to Impoverish or Render Ineffective. So, when you procrastinate, you’re not just postponing your time, but you’re impoverishing your life! You’re cutting short your life –you’re Committing Suicide!

I believe you now agree with me that when you procrastinate, you’re committing suicide! Listen! The more you wait for the right time to act, the more you’re cutting short your life! Because, if you wait for the right time to act, guess what? You’ll wait forever! Little wonder, a wise King said: “He that observeth the wind shalt not sow; and he that regarded the clouds shall not reap” (Eccl. 11: 4). So, Procrastination is not just a thief of time, but the grave where all opportunities are buried!

It was one David Frost, a British broadcaster who said: “Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your home.” I quite agree with him. Television is a very powerful tool through which we travel round the world. By means of it, we learn about lands and people we may never see or visit. In a nutshell, television informs, entertains, instructs or educates and even inspires. Most notable of its benefits is when we watch live events, such as football matches from top leagues.

But when you stay glued to your TV set on a daily basis just like the way the sticky pads of a wall gecko cleave to the ceiling; then, you might be embarking on a suicide mission! Excessive TV watching is a very powerful tool with which people have ignorantly used in committing suicide. Yes, you heard me right! This may not go down well with many people though, it’s the brutal truth!

Now, hear this: A recent global study shows that on average, people watch TV for four hours per day. I know of some people who could sit in front of the TV for six straight hours watching home videos. Now, pick up your calculator and let’s do the math together: If we watch TV for four hours per day, in 365 days, we would have spent 1,460 hours a year.

Let’s take the average life-span of human beings to be 70 years. By that age, we would have spent 102, 200 hours. And guess what? This is approximately equivalent to 12 whopping years of our lives in front of the TV! Did I hear you say, “Lord forbid!”

I believe you’ll now see why I said (if you have this habit), You Could Be Committing Suicide! Because 12 years of our lives will have been killed and buried! And I bet that none of us would want on our tombstone the inscription: “Here lies our beloved father or mother or friend, who devoted 12 years of his/her life to Watching TV.” Remember, time is not just money; but time is Life! That’s why one of my personal creeds is, “Every second should be accounted for!” Because, Time wasted in foolishness cannot be recovered in wisdom!

So, those are, in my opinion, two of the greatest tools with which you could be used to commit suicide. These innocent-looking but dangerous identical twins not only steal your time, but can kill and destroy you, if you make them your bosom friends. They are termites of time that feed voraciously on our lives! Remember, the worst tragedy in life is not death, but when we kill the precious time graciously given to us by the Lord, the Almighty to fulfil our life’s purpose. It is on this premise, I have always advocated that those who kill time should not only be ‘arrested’ but they should be ‘prosecuted’ as well! And if they’re found guilty, they should be sent to Jail! Yes, those words are not mistakes or typographical errors. I’m serious!

Therefore, always remember this: ‘‘Life is not lost by dying; life is lost second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour and day by dragging day, in all the small careless ways we spend our time!”

• Boussa, a motivational speaker and writer, lives in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.