Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

The sudden deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain shocked many. Both were well-known public figures and at the top of their respective fields. Spade was a top fashion designer. Bourdain was a celebrity chef and travel guru. Both were viewed as arriving at the pinnacle of life with wealth, fame, and fortune. Yet something was deeply wrong down inside as both committed suicide. There been a dramatic rise in suicide in the last two decades and in 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans ended their lives. This is twice the number of homicides that year. So why all the despair? We're learning a hard lesson that wealth and fame don't amount to happiness; that our souls must be nurtured; and that we should be kind and gracious to everyone because we don't know the struggles they might be going through.