90 day Ron
In 90 days I will still most likely find it to have been unjustifiably inconsiderate to, as an art project, create a blog entitled 90DayJane in which a person calling herself Jane claims that she plans on committing suicide in 90 days. While I don’t think this Jane is a bad person, this was surely a poorly chosen art project.
On the flipside, though, maybe the project did create some ultimate good. Maybe it was something that needed to be done. Maybe it wasn’t unjustifiably inconsiderate. Maybe it’s exactly what people need to experience once in a while.
Personally, I was affected by this blog. I found it troubling, as I’m sure many did. Perhaps this is a good thing, though. After about a week, having observed the strong response the blog had gotten and how deeply it was affecting some people, Jane fessed up and took it down. She then opened up a new in which all of the same content was present, along with her explanation. She explains that included among her reasons for this project was her frustration with how detached people are from one other. She wanted to see if people would even care about this sort of thing. Well, many people did. She gave people a window into the mind of a person who was planning suicide. Her story was peculiar, though in that she said that she wasn’t depressed or anything, she just felt that as an atheist life has no higher purpose and so she basically sees no reason not to end it. I’m sure most atheists would strongly disagree with the notion that life is purposeless. There may not be an objective purpose or meaning, but that is not to say that life is destined to be without self-created purpose and meaning.
There could be a great value, though, in her exposing people to the idea of imminent suicide. She may have, in so doing, opened people’s eyes to the importance of helping others who may genuinely need the help. In her Day 0 post in which she comes clean, she points out that it is often more difficult to ask for help than to offer it.
I agree with her. Many people do live very isolated unconnected lives. Many of us live a life which emphasizes competition and individual success, minimizing the importance of community, altruism, and living in and appreciating life as it comes. People definitely need to have their consciousness raised to the personal and social destruction that isolating and rat-race obsessed living can bring about.
Maybe in 90 days I won’t be so unimpressed with this act. Maybe it was needed. Maybe we need to be reminded in emotionally compelling ways that there are people around us who could use some tender love and care. And so do we. In fact, given that she ended the project once she saw the impact it was having, maybe I’m not so unimpressed by it now. In this age of distraction and detachment, sometimes many of us need to be shocked back into reality.
Addendum: I have taken down the link to the new blog as it appears that this blog is not that of Jane, but that of an imposter.