CULTIVATING LIBERALISM
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Life on 200 Words a Day
Exulting in Suicide

Every so often a court here or a legislature there makes like a caterpillar toward reason and endorses microscopically more humane laws regarding that most essential of human rights: the right to stop being human, to end one’s life, or to have it ended with a little help from a friend, preferably one with a medical degree or a specialty in barbiturates. Call it euthanasia, call it assisted suicide, call it simply suicide: There is no more courageous act. Regarding one’s life, it is the least defensible and most justified of all acts, depending on one’s point in our Sisyphean mountain-climb. It not only has its place in that interregnum of absurdities we dust through. It is a place of honor, the ultimate La-Z-Boy’s resting place. But with creeping exceptions, laws, morals and creeds—a trinity as venerable as it can be vile—find it more comforting to answer to the living blind than to the willing dead. Suicide, the soul’s ultimate lonely act, is condemned to solitude even in life. Long before our modern lawmakers’ attempt to hospice their way into our eternal irony, Montaigne had rendered an opinion yet unrivaled for its liberty and humanity: “That is what they mean by saying that the sage lives as long as he should, not as long as he can; and that the most beneficent present Nature has given us, a present which takes from us any reason for complaining about our condition, is the gift to the key of the fields. She has ordained only one entry into life, and a hundred thousand exits. We may lack land to live on, but land to die on we cannot lack, as Boiocalus replied to the Romans. Why do you complain of this world? It does not hold you: if you live in pain, your cowardice is the cause; to die all that is needed is the will.”

L.D. Amabed Jr.

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