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TEEN ISSUES-----rather be dead?

Dina Posted - 30 May 2000 13:00

When a teenager dies its the same as when an old man dies, except I would rather die than grow old.

MODERATOR Posted - 30 May 2000 14:00

Why would you rather die than grow old, Dina?

Dina Posted - 01 June 2000 14:11

Because life is nothing but pain. And death puts us out of our misery.

- 02 June 2000 16:21

Do you think that life is nothing but pain to EVERYONE alive?

Do you think EVERYONE would rather die?

If not, why do some people want to die and others not?

- 20 June 2000 13:30

The problem often is that people do not distinguish between being happy, and having fun. There is a big difference.

When you have fun, the pleasure ends when the fun is over (that's not counting hangovers). If the only pleasure you know how to have is "fun", then whenever you are NOT busy with fun, you will not have any pleasure, except for looking forward to tomorrow's fun or remembering yesterday's.

You always need more.

Going to clubs, hanging out, and partying are "fun". The pleasure ends when the party is over and everyone is going home. Right away it's "When's the next party?".

"Fun" feels good because you're doing something pleasurable NOW.

If you want to enjoy your whole life that way, you are going to have to attend many, many parties.

And you have to make sure you don't get bored. Because we have a tendency to build up a resistance to "fun" -- eventually you get bored doing the same thing day in and day out.

So you need something different or bigger or better or cooler. But whatever, you always need your "fun".

"Happiness" is different. Happiness is where you do something which after you do it, the happiness lasts.

This way, the pleasure doesn't end, but has an accumulative affect.

Whereas more and more fun does not add up but merely repeats, more and more happiness makes a more and more happy person.

Accomplishment, fulfilling goals, finishing something, creating something, all give a feeling of satisfaction that lasts long after you have reached your goal.

"Happiness" may not always be as pleasurable as "fun" while you're doing it, but it will be more pleasurable since you will attain a happiness that lasts.

It's like the difference between pigging out while on a diet, versus sticking to it. Pigging out is more fun, but only while you're pigging. Afterwards the fun is over. Sticking to the diet is not so much fun, but you will be happier with the results.

Being constructive makes a human being happy.

G-d made human beings with emptiness in them. They are constantly yearning for something.

This emptiness is the result of a soul which is not so comfortable in a physical body.

Souls like accomplishment. Bodies like fun.

Souls are eternal. So they like pleasure that lasts.

Bodies are here only for a while. Then they become dirt. They like pleasure NOW -- bodies don't know what "forever" means.

Animals have no souls. That’s why they don’t enjoy accomplishment. Humans have souls, so for them fun is not enough.

The reason people are not happy is because they pursue fun instead of happiness. Maybe they don’t know the difference.

It's like we're in this world on a diet, and they think pigging out will make them feel good. It will, for a while. But the soul just gets more and more frustrated.

To be happy, meaning to be a happy person, you need to accomplish.

Of course, some fun is ok. It's even, ah, necessary. We sometimes need just a bit of ice cream so we don’t go crazy while dieting. But only a little. Too much fun and we start to lose it.

Teenagers are often more into "fun" than "happiness" because they haven't been around long enough to have been able to accumulate a lot of happiness, so they don't know what it feels like.

Now the question is, what is considered accomplishment?

What do I have to do to be happy as opposed to "having fun"?

We will discuss that. But first we need to know what exactly it is that we are looking for. Then we can figure out where to find it.

DORTY Posted - 27 June 2000 12:22

I believe that accomplishment includes:

Any display of self control

Growing and/or improving in any area or discipline

Giving to someone more needy than yourself

MODERATOR Posted - 27 June 2000 18:31

The problem is, often when people accomplish something it gives them a greater need than even before.

Like these people who spend their whole lives working for money when they already have more than they can spend all their lives.

I have a friend whose father-in-law is one of the wealthiest men around. We're talking in the billions (and no, it's none of the Reichmans).

This elderly man wakes up before 6 in the morning to go to work and comes home after 11:00.

His son-in-law asked him when he's going to retire, and he said "When I'm bigger than Edgar Bronfman."

So the question is, when is this man going to be happy?

And, is there accomplishment that can make us happy without being bigger than Edgar Branfman?

Cat Posted - 05 July 2000 15:48

I wanted to die most of my life until not that long ago, so I think I can answer from one point of view, although everyone is different.

For me I saw no point in living.

I saw myself as worthless and saw only my failures and mistakes.

I felt like all I did was cause others pain and that my entire life was cursed.

I tried to commit suicide numerous times. The first time I was only 7 years old! I told a few people, but they didn't believe me, they thought I was after attention.

My mom found me one day and that kind of changed that.

She sent me to counseling, but I knew that wouldn't help. I knew I'd never try again as it was, but the thoughts weren't going to go away.

I believed my mom would have been happier if I had died when I was born, it took her years to convince me otherwise. So I wanted death. Death promised an end to the pain, rest from the tiring crying, and getting away from those that had hurt me.

I don't know what it was that changed. I'd always loved Judaism and read a great deal on it, but I read one book that was the most informative I'd read at that time and I got interested.

My faith had always been strong, but it grew stronger as I learned. I started reading and studying scripture more. As I prayed more I no longer felt so empty. I started to listen to what my mom had to say and realized I meant a lot to her.

I listened to what people had to say at school and realized that people did care what happened to me.

I stopped blaming myself for being born when I was, for the loss of my brother's.

I stopped blaming myself for other's failures and started looking at my accomplishments and realized they far outweighed my failures.

I learned from my mistakes. Something clicked inside of me and life started taking on meaning.

By the time my mom got sick I treasured life and I fought for hers as best I could. I prayed for hours and when the answer came back that she was to die, I kept faith that it would be alright.

I didn't think suicide and I don't truly understand why. I just know I loved life too much to give up.

I have too much to look forward to, to die would take so much. I want to marry someday, to have children. I want to be a nurse and to someday be a grandmother.

I want to grow old and watch the world grow.

I used to want death and now I want life. It's hard to understand, but trust me it feels good to want life.

There's a light unto my life now that I cannot explain.

Something fits now and when things happen that hurt, such as a friend of mine died about an hour ago, I realize how vital life really is.

She lived a short time and touched many lives.

My mother died young, but she touched more lives than I can count. She had a generous heart and reached out to the world.

Had she died when she was a teenager, which if she had wanted I'd totally understand as none of us can imagine how horrid her life was, there would have been an empty spot in this world that no one could have filled.

There are people of whom would have not been here, there are people of whom would have not had their dreams, and there are people of whom would never have had the chance to learn from her.

I realize none of you know her, but trust me, she is well known to some and those people treasure the time they spent with her.

Think about it, if you die now, what do you give up?

What do you never get to do in life?

What dreams can never be found? What lives could have been touched?

What if you missed out on the best part of your life because you gave up hope and took the easy way out when things were tough?

Yeah, life’s hard, but it gives a lot to. Please, look at your lives.

Who has your life touched?

What would happen to those you love if you died?

Where would they be?

What would you miss out on?

MODERATOR Posted - 05 July 2000 16:43

Wow. Cat, thanks.

If you want to say anything about your friend who just passed away, it's fine. My deepest condolences. Shlomo HaMelech writes, "Yesh chaver dovuk m'ach" -- "There are friends who are closer than brothers". it must hurt tons.

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