A few years back, one of my best friends, El Hefe, took his own life with a pistol to the head. After weeks of tears, grief and soul searching, we as family and friends, were all left with the same impression…what a selfish act.
Besides being the cowardice way out, suicide is one of the most selfish acts a person can commit. Little thought is given to the people who are left behind. And then there are those who are left to discover the committed act. In my friend’s case, it was his dad.
Now we have the case of Martin Manley, a 60-year-old sportswriter and statistician for the Kansas City Star who seemed to have it all. Unfortunately for Manley, seeing the other side of 60 was more than he could bear.
At approximately 5:00 a.m. on August 15, 2013, Manley drove into the parking lot of the Overland Park Police Station where he parked his car and dialed 911. That is when he reported his own suicide before shooting himself in the head with a .380 pistol.
Unfortunately, suicides in this country are not that uncommon. Nearly 38,000 people are expected to take their own lives this year. It was the events leading up to his suicide that leave many, including myself, baffled.
For 14 months, Manley had been contributing to his own self-authored website. On June 11, 2012, he noted that he would take his own life on his 60th birthday. Unfortunately, he was a man of his word.
I am not one to ever support or justify suicide. However, if a person is that much of a coward to face life like the rest of us, keep it private. I have a hard time with the fact that he chose to involve the rest of us with his selfish exploitation of his suicide through written content. Perhaps this is another example of the unexpected consequences of social media and the Internet.
Though they are not condoning Manley’s act, there are many who hail his exploitation of his suicide by pointing out the fact that he is bringing awareness to a serious social issue. In my opinion, the end does not justify the means. This was a selfish act and should have been kept private. He is no hero, just a coward.
Did he ever think about the officers and rescue crews who had to go to his car. What about the images they will carry for the rest of their lives? Imagine if you and your child pulled into the station’s parking lot at just the same time!
Mike & Winey can be heard every Saturday afternoon from 12 to 3 p.m. on 92.3 KTAR. Join us on Facebook.