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Of course there will be difficulties in life. There can never be life without its share of problems. Many of these problems can be traced back to actions of people- including ourselves. Yet, the answer to problems doesn’t lie in running away from them. Worst of all, you have no right to end the lives of others because of your problems. These are my thoughts when I read about the shocking murder-suicide at Los Angeles recently.

It appears that 45 year old Karthik Rajaram shot his wife, three sons and his mother-in-law before shooting himself. There are reports which indicate that almost definitely financial problems caused him to act in the manner he did. From TV reports we hear that he was an MBA and had worked for Price Waterhouse Coopers some years ago. Apparently he was unemployed for the last few months.

An article in the LA Times gives more details of his financial background. He was relatively well off and seemingly had every comfort in life. Did his luck run out in playing the stock market?

Why anyone would like to end it all like this is beyond my understanding. Why couldn’t he seek professional help before taking such a drastic step. What, if anything, did his wife and family know about his problems? These are questions the answers to which I have no clue. Yet, it strikes me that things need not have come to such a tragic end- if he sought professional counselling help.

Basic lessons in human psychology teach us that our thoughts lead us to actions. If we have negative thoughts, they will mould our minds in negativity resulting in our taking negative actions. May be he felt there was no relief in sight. May be he felt that the worst he feared was coming true. Even then, nothing could be worse than what Karthik Rajaram did.

I fail to understand how he could write in his suicide letter that he felt killing his family was the honorable thing to do. Killing himself would have been a sad action- reflecting his inability to face the future with courage. Killing his family has no rationale at all.

At the end of the day, we are judged by our actions. We don’t know what was in Karthik Rajaram’s mind. We do know that his last actions were shocking to say the least.

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This is Post No: 308 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success.