Last week a tragic death occurred: the 13-year-old nephew of one of the sisters killed himself by hanging. It wasn't suicide, though. It was a way of trying to get high: by choking oneself. He had done it before and his mother, when she found out, made him promise never to do it again. But he did, and as he blacked out he fell off a top bunk bed with a noose around his neck.
I was shocked about this tragedy because I had never heard of this practice. Apparently it's been around a while, though, but now it's done with ropes.
This tragedy raises all kinds of questions. Why do kids seek such thrills? What is it that propels them to do such dangerous things? Does it reflect the more extreme aspects of popular culture, like extreme sports, that throw aside safety concerns in order to get high? What does the Gospel of life have to say about such things?