It’s My Life to Take, or Not

Close to forty thousand lives are lost to suicide each year. There must be a reason for this. It must be something simple. Something like… EVERYONE HAS DEPRESSION. The only difference is that some of us deal better than others.

In fact, people having depression and thoughts of suicide are not anything new. Read Hamlet’s famous soliloquy. You know the one, it starts “To be or not to be.”

Yes, I have severe depression. I’ve had it for years. I wake up every morning with disappointment; disappointment that I’ve woken up. And if I believed in the one-shot-life dogma of the Judeo-Christian religion I probably would have offed myself a long time ago. The belief that once you die you get judged to go up, down or some other more mysterious outcome causes a person to feel that death is the solution and we’ll work out the details when we get there.

I have absolutely no problem with people who commit suicide. Yes, its sad for those who are left behind but the well known truth is that everyone dies. And I strongly believe that we all have the right, whether we take advantage of that right or not, to decide when that death is going to happen. Some people may not want to know when they are going to die, but having control over that one last act is for some people, the only control over their life that they ever had.

However I am a firm believer in reincarnation. That belief that you keep doing it until you get it right. Sorta like the student in English class that keeps getting their paper handed back to them from the teacher with big red letters at the top that say “I KNOW YOU CAN DO BETTER!” It makes more sense to me to think that since even the christians teach that life is a series of lessons, there has to be more than one class. I think it’s more like you live – you get lots of life lessons – you die and get your grade for the class – then if you haven’t graduated yet, perhaps by moving on to Nirvana, you come back to the next class for more lessons.

So this philosophy is what keeps me breathing instead of “cinching up my belt around my ‘waste’.” If life sucks this bad this time, what the hell is it gonna be like the next time? I’m in no hurry to find out. To paraphrase the bard,  it’s better for me to suffer the current slings and arrows of outrageous fortune then to take arms against a sea of trouble and by opposing end them. I’m in no hurry to see what dreams may come otherwise. At least that’s what I think.



A Self-Sustaining Evil

The other day I was telling some out-to-town relatives about some of the jobs I’ve had. One of these jobs was maintaining a promotional web site for a law firm. Promoting lawyers is one of the toughest sales jobs you could ever imagine. Quick, think of something positive to say about lawyers.

In addition, it was one of the most stratified organizations I’d ever worked for. I was only support staff with years of experience in I.T support. But if you weren’t an actual lawyer, or at least had a JD degree, you were just slightly above pond scum. Support staff in a law firm is only a necessary evil so that the lawyers don’t get their hands dirty with actual work.

So while I was discussing this I realized something and blurted out a Truth.

 If we didn’t have lawyers, we would not need lawyers.

Think about it. Anytime there’s a lawsuit, someone first has to… get a lawyer. Then that lawyer notifies the other party in the suit and they have to… get a lawyer. Then the lawyers take over to settle the suit. No one but lawyers know for sure what happens next. Sorta like butchers and their ingredients used in making sausage.

skidmarks on the highway
What’s the different between a snake and a lawyer on the highway? The skid marks in front of the snake.

Years before I worked at the law firm, the wife of a prominent local lawyer attended a class I was teaching. When I learned who she was, I made the comment that I guess I can’t make any lawyer jokes this term. She said it was ok, she had heard them all. And I’m sure she had. Oh BTW my favorite lawyer joke is shown here on the left.

I’m sure you have heard the quote from Shakespeare, “The first thing we do,  let’s kill all the lawyers.” This is a wish I think we all have that we could live in a utopian, anarchistic society where we did not need some one to represent us in a disagreement. If that society included a workable educational system where we could all learn to diplomatically express ourselves or better yet just not get in each others way to begin with, the dead lawyer idea might be totally workable. In the understated words of Rodney King, “Why can’t we all just get along?” Then we wouldn’t need the first lawyer – which means we would not need the second lawyer and so on. Hey, now that’s a thought!