Events of the last week have forced me to think about how much one life is worth. A very good friend of mine, who had been having a lot of problems over the last couple of years, took their own life last week. This person was so full of happiness and showed such love and compassion for others that I was taken totally off-guard when I learned of their demise. While I can’t state that I knew fully all of their issues I can’t bring myself to believe that those issues were so difficult to overcome that death appeared to be a viable option. How much is one life worth?
With today’s economic conditions there are a lot of very negative things happening to people. Students are graduating from college with tens of thousands of dollars in looming student loans and no job offers pending. Professionals who have been laid off are facing the end of their unemployment benefits with no prospect for work in their future. Others, out of desperation, have taken jobs at half what they were making just to keep enough money coming in to delay the inevitable, the loss of their home to foreclosure. Is any one of these event, while unfortunate, worth taking one’s life.
Unemployment can also be the catalyst for other problems such as the loss of medical insurance or the use of a company car. If you’ve been in the position of having to obtain health insurance lately you can attest for the high cost of coverage and the unwillingness of insurance companies to insure anyone with even the slightest preexisting condition. Shopping for a car is no less daunting as used cars are now selling for almost as much as new cars and a payment on a new car can be equal to or more than a person’s monthly apartment rent. Again these events are unfortunate but are they worth taking one’s life?
As I thought through each new scenario of misfortune I could not come up with a single one that I felt would be worth taking one’s life. So I question, what would bring someone to take their own life. My conclusion was desperation and depression. Either of these can be so debilitating that a reasonable person might conclude that death is an attractive option.
If you haven’t already, you might now be wondering what all of this has to do with business. Quite a bit actually. The last few years’ economic problems have adversely impacted businesses just as much as they have impacted individuals. Companies a struggling for their mere existence and there are times that business owners have questioned whether the right thing to do would be to terminate the business. You know, just put it out of its misery and shut it down. An owner
viewing this as an option is feeling the same desperation and depression as the person contemplating taking their own life. What both need at this point is counseling with its ability to allow people to talk through their problems, using someone as a sounding board. If you are facing such issues and considerations I strongly suggest that you seek help. The health and well being of yourself or business depends upon it.