Just recently, the news of the suicide of a particular university student surfaced on the internet, and it pulled a lot of attention as news of this nature usually did. People sought information as to what the situation surrounding his death was, his family background, the signs he showed of being suicidal, and some other cheesy details that left me wondering at some point. I cannot say that I too wasn’t involved in this search for ‘gist’ concerning his suicide (and believe me the ‘gists’ were plenty), but then as time went on and I observed myself and others that were interested in this suicide case, my interest in the case was replaced with a certain level of sadness that had its root in what I observed.

As the story lingered on the news, it wasn’t hard for anybody to notice the air of tension and drama that followed conversations(especially in online forums) about this suicide victim, and with every new discussion, new explanations and new stories appeared, and soon I realized that people had begun to cook up conspiracy theories just to keep the news fresh in the ear, and the gossip fresh in the mouth.

Another thing I noticed was that people used the story to feed a side of themselves that  gave me great concern.

Despite the many circulating lies concerning the reason for the boy’s suicide, there were some of the stories that convincingly passed across as true due to the credibility of the sources that told them. Like the case where his best friend told the press that he had received a puzzling text from the suicide victim, where the victim had said that this new year was the end for him, and then the best friend went ahead to present a screenshot of the conversation as evidence.

Another story that was verified as true was that the boy had posted on one of his social media accounts on New Year’s Eve.

In the post, he had wished his friends and followers a happy new year, and went on to add a haunting phrase that simply read ‘this is the end’

As more true stories of the signs he showed about him being suicidal surfaced, I observed the reaction that it got from human beings who were following the case, and it was a mixture of alarm, curiosity, I don’t know whether I can comfortably say pity and sadness, but yh a little of it, and lastly that did-you-know nature that turns everything into gossip as long as it stays fresh to the ears: That nature of humans that only derives pleasure from listening and talking about tales of misfortune, while being camouflaged to look like it is  talking about evil because it is genuinely saddened by it.

I hope you observe my switch from the use of past tense to a continuous use of present tense to describe this nature of man?

This nature of man that makes it look like it is for a good cause that evil is being analyzed, when really the only reason why such sad news is making the papers and is trending, is because there is something about bad news that just excites this nature we all seem to have.

It is this nature of human beings I find quite sad and tragic; this nature I can’t completely understand, neither should we appreciate nor enjoy; this nature that every individual must strive to get rid of.

Well, true to my predictions as time went on, the attention the suicide attracted lessened, and after a while it faded completely and everybody was back to their business.

Everybody was back to waiting for the next news of this nature to surface, so they…WE, could  turn to conspiracy theorists  and discovery world presenters again.

Quite sad

The more reasonable questions we should have asked ourselves though was why nobody saw the signs before it was too late, and why those that claimed to have suspected something lingered till he was dead and unable to be helped any longer.

While he was alive and sending subliminal signs, nobody considered it a big deal, nobody considered it to be worth any news, and then he died, and everybody suddenly got interested and stories started flying.

As you should have already discovered, I have this theory in my head that states that there is this nature of man that is only appealed to by sad news and tragic incidents; a nature of man that lies dormant and is only triggered when something negatively out of the ordinary happens, but yet this nature is devoid of any credible virtue that would be able to make man resolve to prevent such tragic incidents from happening in the future.

It’s like this nature is an all talk and no do affair, a nature that demands that everybody should be still and wait for the suicide to occur first, so that the story would be interesting.

A nature that doesn’t prevent, even when events that would spell doom have been foreseen.

It is this nature that most times comes out to say stuffs like “I knew this was going to happen, but…”, “Do you know that the first day I saw this man, my spirit reached out to him blah blah blah” or “I knew her behavior was out of the ordinary, she was just weird and she gave me creeps” or the personal favorite “I just knew something was wrong with him/her”

This nature makes sure that we all continue with our business while being insensitive to the warning  signs, but still taking note of them, so that when the  bad thing happen, we can have something to say about it. After all, that is good publicity.

This nature makes it that bad news is somehow interesting to listen to.

Bad news is interesting to listen to, until it involves someone close to you.

After all that is why criminal news sell, and news with more violent details and videos sell more than normal ones. A typical journalist knows that when covering an accident scene, the more blood and wreck you cover vividly, the more audience it would get.

The more inhumane the scene is, the more exciting it is to watch, but to look human while we feed ourselves with sad news, we scream out loud… “This is just bad” “Why is there so much evil in the world?” “Why did this have to happen” Or  a Nigerian’s personal favorite “Chai, see this young boy with bright destiny”

This is wrong.

If you find yourself overly interested in the wrong kind of news, the negative ones that has to involve woe and misfortune, you need to understand that this it is not normal, and maturity demands that you train yourself to be past this stage.

If it is only the news of that girl contracting HIV/AIDS, or that boy now smoking and drinking that you find interesting to listen to, then you still have this sadistic nature of human beings that you ought to get rid of.

Now I am not saying that you should instead be ignorant of the evils of this world, and not listen to cases like this, no. After all you can’t even fight evil if you aren’t even aware of its existence in the first place, but then it is important to understand what motivates you; is it a part of you that is just merely intrigued by the evil, or a part of you that feels the need to change things and to prevent another mishap from occurring?

Signs of impending woe and misfortune shouldn’t only make sense after it is too late, and when it can be valid for nothing other than discussion and analysis.

That’s why they’re called signs, and that is why they are there; to serve as predictions and pointers to something yet to happen.

Let’s not jump into the issue only after he has committed suicide.

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  1. Opoooppssssszz!
    Very true! Well articulated!

    A wake up call to us all
    Wish we really would be a bit more sensitive and concern, show some really care and eschew that human nature that always would want to say, “I said it”, “I saw it coming”, “I knew this was going to happen”, etc.
    Time to extradite all that and get on the right track!

    To the writer of this piece, more grace and insight, deeper understanding and humility! Kudos!

I would love to know what you think