‘I have been able to tap into all the negative things that can happen to me throughout my life by numbing myself to the pain, so to speak, and kind of being able to vent it through my music.’
– Chester Bennington
Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, was found dead in his apartment in Los Angeles yesterday. The cause of death was determined to be a suicide. Linkin Park’s discography, which includes hits such as ‘Numb’ and ‘Breaking the Habit’ (from the 2003 album Meteora), and several other cohesive bodies of work such as Living Things and the more recent Hunting Party and One More Light has been a fixture in the contemporary alt-rock context. The lyrics that Bennington has penned through his musical career have always dealt with themes like emotional pain, and have served as a sort of stairway for fans who were going through struggles and obstacles of their own.
Bennington has often spoken of the importance of realising one’s own potential, and the news of his untimely death comes as a shock to most diehard fans of the band. There has been much speculation in the media about the cause of Bennington’s death. The omnipresent ‘blogosphere’ has tried to ‘decode’ the reasons behind the untimely event by trying to make associations with Bennington’s previous lived experiences and the events unfolding around him.
Many have claimed that it is the death of friend and contemporary Chris Cornell in May 2017 prompted him to take the drastic step. Some claim that it was the battle with ‘alcohol and drug addiction’ that led him to reach rock bottom. Others say that it was the stigma of child abuse that he faced in his younger days. But, can we say for sure that any of these, or a combination of them, led to his death?
The answer is a simple no. There’s no point in speculating why someone has chosen to end their journey, unless we’re able to hear it from THEM (which is pretty much impossible). The evaluations we make of the events occurring around us often make us feel a certain way. Our own potential does come from within, and Bennington has even Tweeted that we can’t look outside ourselves for peace because it lies within.
But, maybe reaching out to someone to guide you towards that inner peace can be what makes the difference, especially if you’re frustrated when you search for it. When one thinks of halting their lived experience, they often have perceived beliefs about their own inner potential that causes them to take a drastic step. Having someone clarify this self-doubt can often mediate these notions of the self that one develops.
When the media comes to conclusions about a certain major event, it often propels the general public to start making its own speculations and attributions. This is not the response that the death of someone that has influenced an entire generation on a global scale should have. Quit the speculation, and start celebrating what these practitioners of art have managed to give us. Let us live today cherishing Bennington rather than figuring out what caused him agony.
An undergraduate in Psychology, Shantanu is an aspiring Educational Psychologist who will be pursuing his Master’s in 2018 at the Ohio State University. He is adept with psychometric and statistical research, and has honed his grasp over psychology through a 4 year undergraduate course in Liberal Education at FLAME University, Pune.