Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The value of a life

Today my husband was late for work. There were no trains running from our station in to London this morning, so he was advised to try again later. How inconvenient!

Today, my sons were driven to school. The fact that Dad had not been able to catch his train meant that he grabbed the opportunity to spend a few precious minutes with our boys by collecting them from home and driving them the short distance to the campus. Just as well, really - they were running horribly late. How fortuitous!

Today a person decided life was no longer worth living. Statistics tell us it was likely to have been a young man aged 18-24. He threw himself in front of a train. Which was why my husband was inconvenienced and my sons were lucky. Suddenly those things seem very small.

Someone lost his life today. Someone gave up hope. Someone hit bottom and saw no way out.

I think it was Nigel Paine in his closing keynote at Learning Technologies who touched on this very thing. How he was on a train that was brought to a halt, because someone had committed suicide in this manner. How no-one in the carriage said a thing when the announcement was made over the PA. How one man looked at his watch and tutted in annoyance - presumably because he was now going to be late for an appointment. After all, why can't these people be more considerate - don't they realise how busy we are?

Is this what we have come to? "A young man ended his life in misery and despair" "Tsk! That means I'll be late for my meeting!"

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