Easy way out?

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Monday, August 18, 2014


THERE was this report last Sunday about a young man who works as a call center agent. It was a good and rather rewarding job for a 25-year-old resident of Barangay Looc, Mandaue City.

But strangely enough, the call center agent who worked in the Asiatown IT Park jumped from the roof deck of a 12-story building at dawn on Saturday in Barangay Apas, Cebu City. He died on the yard pavement, passing through an awning.

His death was filmed by a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera while he was “jumping off the i2 building at 12:12 a.m.” The Convergys employee’s death was witnessed, to their horror, by business process outsourcing workers who were having coffee or waiting for a ride.

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Call center agent Ernie Antigua, Jr. was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene from severe injuries in his head and body.

Now, many might ask why he did it despite the apparently rewarding life he was living in. The answer is difficult to countenance.

“Before he took his life, he posted a suicide note on his account in the social networking site Facebook. He said he was unable to cope after his girlfriend, a co-worker, left him for another guy.” The girl broke up with him without giving him a just and fair idea why.

“Gibuwagan ko niya. (She broke up with me) without any certain reason and that hurts me the most, specially seeing her with other guys dancing, laughing and having fun.”

The sentiment expressed here indicates what social psychologists may call a sense of moral inability to withstand an emotional problem simply because of rank inexperience and a strong need to have someone strong to lean on.

To many of his friends and kin, it could be difficult to understand why he bargained his life for that of a woman who just sort of discarded him and left him for another man.

I am sure that many would be tending to curse the girlfriend for the way she treated him, playing with his frailty. But then, it might also be too harsh to heap blame on her without hearing her side, too.

For all we know, it could also be precisely for his own lack of determination, direction and decisiveness that forced the unnamed woman to drop him. His weakness, in a matter of speaking, generated a need on her part to protect herself and her future, looking at him as a future companion in life, and seeing that he would not be able to give her an insured future, when even this early in their relationship he was more dependent on her.

Well, given these two possible sides to the incident, the only easy way out is death to either one. Ironically, it turned out--speculatively speaking--that he was the more “courageous one” to choose to end his life as a way out of a life’s dilemma. After all, of what use could his own life be without what one considers reason for existence?

But no kidding now, don’t you think that there have been quite many suicides in recent months, as if death is the best and the easiest way out of our life’s many problems?

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 19, 2014.

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