Only one chance. Even the longest life is so short, in the face of the eternity which spreads out behind it and before it, and which we will never understand in this life but will experience someday, whether we choose to or not. No matter how long we live, when we look back on this life, it will all seem so short, as if one day.

Only one chance. There are so many things which we have not experienced, which we could experience. Only one chance to learn what real love is, for the first time. And we have never learned, if we are not ready to sacrifice ourselves for it--and more than that, to die for it a hundred times. After we die, we can never again make that sacrifice, can never again taste the sweetness of that pain.

Only one chance. Only one chance to find out that the philosophy, mindset and religion of the 1990's are not the only ones. And that perhaps there were better ones in the past, in other places. And that it's not true what we've been taught--about how what is more modern is better. Only one chance to no longer be a slave to times and fashions, of the modern counterculture as well as the culture. Especially when both the culture and the counterculture have failed us.

Only one chance to be alive. Only one chance to show courage. Only one chance to change things, and to change course. Only one chance to rise above the state of irresolution and passivity and doubt into which we've been placed by television and other electronic media stimulation. Only one chance to live virtuously.

Only one chance to go to the mountains and watch the evening sun filtering through the trees. Only one chance to sit on a cliff over the ocean and wonder why you're here. Only one chance to see the stars. Only one chance to hear a heart beat.

Only one chance to be free. True freedom comes not from taking life, but from giving it. Suicide is the only unforgivable crime, because it is the only crime after which you cannot ask forgiveness. After that, you enter a future life in which there are no more chances. And that, if you have not taken the one chance you've been given, is true hell.

Suicide takes the lives of 6,000 of the young generation in the U.S. each year. This phenomenon is something unheard of in the history of the world. Why should this be, if the world is truly becoming a better place? Suicide is the last Genocide.

-- Monk Damascene