Saturday, October 14, 2017

Overcoming Crisis with Hope

Office of statistics recently published their figures for the number of suicides for the year 2016. Numbers for teenagers has been dropping from 2011 but the  2016 statistics show an increase from the previous year from 4.2  persons per 100,000 to 4.9. All the other age groups except for the teens and those in the twenties showed a decrease.

A religious sister in charge of a center for the prevention of suicides writes about the issue in the Catholic Times for this week. She mentions that those who have studied the issue see the problem emerging because of a large number of young people out of work, the break up of families, and the lack of hope in the future.

Internet and dramas on TV have contents that incite this kind of thinking. Studies bring stress, no longer do they believe that with success in their studies they are guaranteed a good job and a good life. The dream is disappearing and they are  faced with big challenges for the future.

Problems arise for the young since they are maturing, they are not adults and do not have the experience to accept the negativity in their life and the strength and knowledge to overcome what they face. They do not find it easy to rationalize and intellectualize what they encounter and can easily blame themselves for the situation they face.

Whether this is coming from others or oneself they have difficulty facing the situation and the stress urges them on to end it all. She has interviewed many adults at the center and not a few when they were in their teens contemplated suicide. This is reason enough to work in the prevention of suicide among our young people.

The ranking of the Korean youth in comparison to other countries in the OECD on the level of happiness is at the bottom. They have been there for the last 6 years but also ranked high for  violence in the home, and both physical and emotional abuse. This is often expressed with others and can turn towards oneself and suicide.

Adults need to see the potential and possibilities of our young people and not be quick to evaluate and condemn them. They need to be respected and helped to find themselves. Adults need to empathize and  help them find their dreams.

She ends her article with a few lines of a poem by a Korean poet:"I have failed, misfortune was present but again I go toward hope for in me there are still flowers that have yet to blossom. I have worked to give bloom to the flowers that others wanted and neglected the flowers that I wanted and are  still waiting to bloom" (Literal translating of meaning).

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