Suicide is an option not a decision

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Fri, 10 Mar 2017 Source: Attopley, Selorm

"Nobody in his or her right senses would ever take their lives but when the family, the church and the school loses its credibility in society, suicide becomes an option to quell depression"-Martin Selorm Attopley.

With the little sociology I've studied in the university, I have been thought that the three indispensable agents of socialization are the family, the church and the school. From this we realize that the child moves from the family to the church or mosque then to school and at all these stages he or she learns bits and pieces from his or her social environment and tries to understand what goes on around him or her.

Our parents play a significant role in the upbringing of their children as soon as the child is born. If the foundation at home is weak,then the child would begin to seek advice from different sources which may be to the detriment of the child and consequently affect the family. Today, husbands and wives[I'm calling them by this because most of them do not merit the name parents. They are not performing that role at all] are only interested in getting married, bringing forth children and minding their own business without really caring much. They pay school fees, give out money, build new houses,buy new cars, win political power, travel for vacations among other obscure adventures. This of course is not parenting! We are talking about knowing certain vital details about your child,identifying the social,spiritual, emotional needs of your child and having a somewhat intimacy as a father or mother of that child you gave birth to. The family must create an environment where the child can call an auntie, an uncle, a cousin or niece, a grandpa or grandma to discuss an issue with and receive a worthy advice. But this has not been so. Parents have allowed friends of their children to take over their parenting role and these fairweather friends take advantage to add more salt to injury by wrongly advising these young ones. In my university where I study, I get disheartened when I go on evangelism or political campaigns from one room to the other and I see young girls seductively sleeping on their boyfriends, amorously sitting on their "guys" laps wearing very short skirts or on some occasions wearing just a T-shirt with nothing underneath. With this, I wonder if parents have a slight idea of what their beautiful daughters and handsome sons are involved in at school.

The church is no exception. Many churches are leading their members astray with varied doctrines and misinterpretations of the word of God and the true essence of the gospel. Most of these "confused" churches are largely made up of women or ladies who have myriads of issues and troubles, seeking a prophecy or perhaps a place where their heavy loads of burdens could be unburdened. It is no news in Ghana, that many men of God from some churches are actively in amorous relationships with the young beautiful and sassy women or ladies of their congregation. Church elders are involved, young pastors are manipulating and deceiving these young ones and above all, one thing that irks me so much is how some men of God demand outrageous sums of money before their own members could have counselling. This is unheard off! Someone needs help by way of advising, praying, directing or interceding on behalf of the person as a man graced and favored by God and all you can say is,"If you want to come for counselling, pay 500ghc or 1000ghc as consultation fee and then I would attend to you"? I really wonder if indeed it is the God of heaven and earth, the Alpha and the Omega, our Lord Jesus Christ who came to die for us and rose on the third day is the God this so called men of God serve? The Church is supposed to accept us and build us up but they reject and frustrate people even worse more than anything.

The school is supposed to be a place to acquire knowledge, to broaden our scope on issues, to have intellectual discourses and a proper tuning of our minds to local, national and global issues affecting us but what do we see now a days? Our teachers, lecturers and people of high standing no more care about what to invest in their students. They don't really care if at the end of the teaching period, students understand what is taught or not. Some teachers or lecturers want to set the questions and see the number of students who couldn't pass so they could speak ill of them and castigate them. This to me brings about frustrations, dejections,anger and pain in the students and if care is not taken at that instance, a student would just do the undone.

I have heard countless times as a student in secondary school, how teachers were fighting male students over a particular girl,how a teacher impregnates a student and asks her to abort it and also how a teacher forced a particular lady student to love him lest she fails her exams and thereby repeating that same class. She had no option than to kowtow to such a proposal without complaining. In the university, these scenarios are very common. Our beautiful young ladies are going through a lot of pains behind the scenes and have no one to voice out to. So they keep gulping down the pain until they choose a deadly option. Now let me tackle the issue of counseling units in schools and peer counselors. May I ask what the qualification is for people who become counselors and peer counselors in schools? Do we know that many people who assume these positions are not really trained and have little or no experiences in tackling this difficult problems related to students? On radio and TV, we've seen and heard some acclaimed counselors who instead of educating the public and allaying the fears of people who are pained rather resort to insults, judgmental comments amidst other unwarranted behaviours. Many of these cousellors have problems themselves which are hidden under their sleeves. How can you make a divorcée educate someone on broken marriage? How can you allow someone who is known secretly by others as an alcoholic advise people on drug addiction and other related issues? We really need to be serious in our educational sectors and put in appropriate measures to save our young ones.

Parents must advice themselves from henceforth to be vigilant and concerned about the welfare of their children. Shouting,insulting, beating or caning, neglecting their children due to one mistake or the other should be discouraged. Parenting is a process and if you really want to earn that role,then you must learn the processes of being a good and excellent parent.

To the church, I pray that those pastors would stop worshipping those "gods" and rather turn to God, to Jesus Christ, our lord and personal saviour. They should be born again and receive the power of God to go about the gospel. To the congregation, know what is being done in your church, think about the doctrines, take it into prayers and leave to a bible believing and God's favored church. There are many good churches in Ghana, find one and attend.

For our teachers,lecturers and educational officials,please you are our role models and you have been given the platform to teach and train us to become great men and women, don't destroy our destinies by confusing,castigating,threatening and making life on earth difficult for us but rather, advise,direct,encourage,motivate and make us see the light at the end of the tunnel.

To our fathers,mothers,brothers and sisters who have taken it upon themselves to work as counsellors and peer counsellors, I advise you to learn,know what counselling really is and know how to talk to people in depressed states. Learn the art!

Let me pause at this juncture by opining that, people are depressed in the society, people have issues,people are going through tribulations and they need help,they need just a word of encouragement to feel better, they need to speak to someone[wise enough] who is ready to listen to their woes and provide a soothing solution. Let me say that, "Wisdom is not in grey hair but in a head that is ready to give a good advise".

The writer is Martin Selorm Attopley, a student, an author and a public speaker. You can reach him on martinattopley22@gmail.com

Columnist: Attopley, Selorm