(for Year I – Agnes Bohaxhiu, and every person who ever considered suicide)
One of the things non-teachers will probably never understand (no matter how much they will claim to) is that sensation teachers repeatedly refer to as “satisfaction” (possibly due to lack of a better term). It is this inexplicable reason, after all, that makes teachers “love” (again, possibly due to lack of a better term) what they do, despite such reality checks as salary sizes, time-to-benefit ratio, stress-induced burnouts and breakdowns, and so on.
To quote a co-teacher: “Eh anong magagawa ko, mahal ko ang pagtuturo eh.”
Small wonder, then, that when one engaged in the profession is “down in the dumps”, so to speak, perhaps one of the best methods for self-motivation is via channeling one’s self through his/her students. This, it turned out, was the case with my usual bouts of depression, and a recent activity held in my high school class.
The activity came after a discussion on a Manuel Arguilla story: “The Long Vacation”, which, at its surface, seems to simply be a cordial, if not formal, conversation between a boss and an employee, but which hints at the employee’s suicidal tendencies, all in the true Arguilla fashion of subtle human tension. The task was simple enough: write yourself an “anti-suicide note” (an antithetical counterpart to the traditional suicide note, where people usually ranted their way through whatever lives they led, with all literary gusto) and convince yourself that life, even at its most stressful, is still worth living, and suicide should not even be considered as an option.
The following are quotes lifted from the students’ journals, one from each journal, and edited only with the basic grammatical conventions. It’s amazing, the things people write in order to cheer themselves up:
- The sun’s still rising, the plants growing, flowers blooming, birds chirping, animals living, people living. How can you not be happy?
- It is said in the 10 Commandments: Thou shall not kill… YOURSELF!
- Your parents might even think of suicide too!
- Remember: Losers LET things happen. Winners MAKE things happen.
- WE LOVE EACH OTHER SO MUCH RIGHT?
- So I think to myself: If I have a good life then I must solve or do something productive with myself for me to achieve my goals.
- You have tons of things to accomplish, you have to finish them all and learn new things from this.
- Know that sometimes, it’s just you blocking your own sunshine.
- GO SOMEWHERE WHERE NOBODY KNOWS YOU ❤
- You could be happy even when you are sad.
- If you die, always have a happy death and not one full of regrets.
- Suicide isn’t a solution. That’s all. Ü
- So please don’t die now. You have a life to live for.
- You just have to take a leap of faith and just trust that you’ll land on both feet.
- On some occasions I even think of just ending it all. But a lot of memories are holding me from doing so.
- Don’t kill me. I’m too awesome to die.
- For stress, just do something fun or do things that make you happy.
- You kill yourself, your loved ones’ lives will be destroyed and you will make them sad.
- If you go, how empty the universe would be / How dark the sky would be, without you shining brightly / If you go, how cold the nights would be / Without your heart’s warmth around me
- Suicide is not the solution to your problem; it is not the key to close the door full of problems.
- Killing yourself will make you look like a coward.
- Take a look at the world you’ll leave, and then, decide again…
- It’s not really worth it; why will you kill yourself if you haven’t really lived?