Believe it or not, you have a lot of choices in life.
One of them is not to grow a shitty beard.
We are on Vancouver Island, which is a paradise kind of place to be - a place people come for vacation. Hard to believe that anyone would be unhappy living here, but there are malcontents everywhere.
Recently, two young men who hailed from this island went on a killing spree in the Yukon territory, senselessly killing at least three people before they too died, of as-yet unknown causes. They went to the Yukon to find better paying jobs - which there are a lot of - but decided instead to end their lives and those of total strangers for no reason whatsoever.
One of the fellows' fathers opines that his son, who lived at home and worked minimum-wage jobs and played violent video games all day long, wanted to "go out with a bang" and of course, this was not Dad's fault for letting him live at home and work minimum wage jobs and play violent video games all day long. I'll say it again and again - keeping adult children at home as pets is a very, very bad idea. Dad is fortunate that the first victim was not him - that is usually how these things play out.
But it is sad, that like the Columbine killers - who were two weeks away from graduation and leaving the travails of suburban high school behind them forever decided they had no other choice than to go on a killing spree. Life is short and painful enough as it is, why make it worse?
And it is not like any of these kids didn't have better choices. In fact, they had amazing choices, as people raised in some of the wealthiest countries in the world. Last year, we traveled through the Yukon territory, and it was very nice - nicer than Alaska. A ride down the Cassier highway to Whistler is a worthwhile experience - but have your brakes checked, first! And as a young person, summer jobs abound - at high wages - in places like Whistler, which even provide lodging for employees.
These kids could have easily gotten high-paying jobs in the tourist industry and banked a hefty paycheck. A lot of young people do that. We met quite a few in Alaska, working in the tourist industry in the summer, and then taking a $99 flight to Hawaii to work there in the winter. You can save up quite a bit of cash this way. Maybe pay off those student loans.
But it is not just all work - you spend the summer in a tourist town with a lot of people your own age, and the parties are pretty impressive. A good chance to meet girls - or boys - too.
Going to university is another option, and for Canadian citizens, not as expensive as for Americans. College can be enlightening - or just another party - or perhaps both. It can also lead you to a career, a spouse, or even just a one-night stand.
These are just a few examples. When you are young, you can do almost anything you want to. I related before about my friends who worked at odd jobs, saved up their cash and hitchhiked around the world, twice. They had choices, and chose to lead an interesting, fulfilling life. That is a choice you have to consciously make.
The point is, these things are much better than killing random strangers and then dying alone in a fly and mosquito-infested outback.
Some might argue that mental illness negates choice. I disagree. In each of these Bonnie-and-Clyde or In Cold Blood scenarios, there is one partner who is bat-shit violent crazy, and the other who goes along with it. Maybe one is off the rails, but the other could have chosen, at any time, to say, "hey, let's dial this back a bit and think about where it is going!" But they make a choice to be passive and "go along" with what the crazier one is saying.
But even crazy people make choices - logical choices, in their minds. And being nutzo is one choice they make - because it garners attention and special treatment - and they know it. They could make different choices. And the people around them - including family members who coddle the crazies and fail to get treatment for them, or worse yet, like the Connecticut Mom who bought her son an AR-15, end up enabling poor choices in life.
Life can be so beautiful. It is a shame that someone at age 18 or 23 or whatever, decides that life is no longer worth living, that they have no other choices in life, and what's more, they want to destroy the lives of innocents as a result.
It makes no freaking sense. We all have choices - better choices - than that.