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Monday, February 10, 2014

Don't Mourn for Philip Seymour Hoffman

One of the "ah ha!" moments of my life was when I learned the following:

Barring mental incapacity so great as to create a need for institutionalization, adults are responsible for their own behavior.

Ponder that one for a moment:  adults are responsible for what they do.  It's a pretty simple axiom, but yet I have found it to be profoundly important in my life.  As I've noted here on a few occasions, I've had mental health issues within my family that I've wrestled with over many years, and it wasn't until the above was presented to me (and even then it took me a while to fully grasp the implications) that I was able to finally begin to understand and deal with these kinds of issues in a constructive manner.

By the way, the first (of many) places I encountered this thought was in THIS highly recommended book.

All of which leads me to the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.  Reference a link HERE.

While it's certainly tragic that someone of the late Mr Hoffman's talent has died, the reality is that he killed himself.  Yes, he had some help in the guise of smack dealers and likely assorted other enablers, but at the end of the day his death was at his own hands.  Note that I think we can all assume that Mr Hoffman was a bright man who intellectually understood the dangers of hard drug addiction.  Yet barring evidence that he was physically strapped down and injected by others against his own will, he made the decision to stick needles in his body full of toxic crap, mostly likely to deal with whatever pain...mental, physical or both...that he felt.

We all experience pain in our lives, and Mr Hoffman could have reached out in many different (and constructive) ways to deal with his pain, but apparently those attempts were unsuccessfully.  With his career, I am sure that he was most likely able to afford the best private addiction and mental health care available.  He didn't make that choice though when it mattered the most.

So it goes that I do not believe it is right for the public to mourn the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.  That sounds cold, but so be it, as it is genuinely how I feel about the subject.  I do feel badly for his children and others that were close to him in life, as they must be feeling a tremendous sense of loss.  That loss though falls squarely on the deceased shoulders of the late Mr Hoffman himself.  Philip Seymour Hoffman was murdered by Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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