Earlier this week, I was shocked by a news in my homeland. A seventh grade girl had committed suicide on the first day of the third trimester, pointing to bullying at school as her cause of death.
I hate to say this, but at first glance I was not shocked at all. I only thought “oh, another one”… very regrettably, it is becoming less uncommon to see suicides owing to bullying at such a young age. And although my heart aches every time I hear such a news, I also feel my heart getting numb by the frequency at which I hear of such news.
It is when I read into the news that I became shocked. She had left a note with a list of thirty things she wished to do! I could not understand her logic, or lack thereof – she had so many things she wanted to do with her life, yet she felt she had no other choice but to take it away from herself, by herself?
But maybe her despair grew so deep and wide, it overrode her reasoning.
Or maybe the list was her last ray of hope, and when she feared it had been compromised was when she decided to protect it from all threats, albeit in the futile way, by taking it with her to a place no one could ever come near.
I do not know if this really was her logic. But if it was, why could she not come up with other, more fertile ways of protecting her dreams?
Maybe she did not have anyone she could consult?
Maybe she felt no one would listen to her?
Or maybe she had no one to look up to, to give her an idea on how to make it on her own?
Maybe it is not just girls of today that need role models. I am sure boys need role models just as much, and I am sure girls of every era needed role models.
But maybe if we take into consideration that girls in general tend to seek more importance in social belongingness, one way to give it is by providing role models and forming attachments with them.
And maybe by understanding the speed at which the image of an ideal woman is changing, it is better that we adults do not try to provide one for them but only provide opportunities to find one (or as many as they wish) who best lives the life they want to live when they grow up.
Maybe the role models do not need to be famous TV icons or superstar athletes.
Maybe they can be “big sisters” just a few years older than they are, attending schools just around the corner from their schools.
Maybe they will let them know that the world is awfully bigger, but they are not alone, and love is all around.
Then, maybe they will know it’s time they started living… and they might just make it after all, to do all the things they wished to do when they were little girls.
I hope we do not leave it solely to the educational system to solve this very serious problem, and I sincerely hope the educational system will not shut us out by hiding or denying the existence of this problem. We must not let this little girl’s wishes and dreams – her life – die with her death.
A last note: Shocked to hear the news of American actress and TV icon M.T.M. passing away. I did not get to watch her shows real-time, but I can somehow sing the theme song of one of her shows right off the top of my head. She will certainly live on in my heart!