Monday, December 17, 2012

Violent Society?

Like many people over the last few days I've been watching the news about the event in Connecticut. Repeatedly I am hearing the talking heads say we live in a violent society. That's true but it does not have to be. I think it is time we reject violence we way we would a drugs in our community and find non-violent ways of handling life's challenges.

That will not be easy, of course. We are savages with 100,000 years of blood on our hands. But we can't we stop? Can't have a day where no one kills anyone? Doesn't being civilized means having non-violent ways to resolve differences and handle our internal conflicts? I thought so but the veneer of civilization is wearing thin it seems.

And yet I am hopeful that we can change and stop the killing. And we must change and educate ourselves and others about different warning signs for internal turmoil. We must look for individuals who have forgotten that in our society we often must compromise so that everyone gets something they want as we try to achieve the greatest good for the largest number of people or who do not practice tolerance for others in all aspects of our lives. We must love each other to the best of our ability.

Doing these things along will not solve the problems we have as our society, but I think it is a good first step and is something we can do immediately without the long debate that has already started on how do we avoid another tragedy of this kind.

You'll notice I have not said anything about policy changes or removal of guns. This is for others to examine and deal with. Frankly I am not sure we can do anything about guns and I'm not sure new laws will help. This is an issue of the most basic kind: how we help others who behave oddly? If the mother of the killer had gotten her son help immediately, the killings might have been prevented. But is it obvious to all want she should have done? Did she even have access to the proper healthcare services?

I don't know. But I do know that we must fight against violence in all forms and try to transform our society into one that is more tolerant, more caring, and one in which 6-year-olds can go to school without fear of being murdered.

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