Saturday, March 19, 2005

On just leaving people alone.

I was rather surprised to see this article posted prominently on the Yahoo News website. It's about a young boy who recently committed suicide at age 14. What made him newsworthy was his remarkable gifts of both intelligence and musical skill. He graduated high school at age 10, won numerous piano competitions, was a composer, possessed an off-the-chart IQ, etc.

It would upset though not surprise me if such a widely publicized story whipped the armchair psychoanalyists into a frenzy. Some people just won't be able to resist the urge to dissect this child's life and those of his family's. The vast majority of analyses that we might be expected to see will be done by people in the MSM and the blogosphere who will never have actually spoken to any of these people.

Equally likely is the fact that most of these analyses will be little more than excuses for people to expound upon their own world views. All psychoanalytic impressions are viewed through the lens of one's own prejudices and experiences.

As one whose own family was touched by suicide, I can imagine the agony, the self-doubts, the empty, gnawing sense of loss this child's poor family is experiencing right now.

So to any would-be pundits who would use this tragedy to launch an exposition of their personal ideology, I offer this piece of advice and a request: Leave these people alone and find another object for your attention.


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