Making Sense

>    In Crandon, Wisconsin a young man, recently out of high school…a boy, really…holding the position of Deputy Police Officer, went on a rampage shooting, killing 6 children ranging in age from 14-18. He ran following the murders and, hours later, was killed by local police when negotiations for his surrender collapsed.
    Is it a gun control issue or a background check issue? I think not.
    We live in a world where violence, in all it’s ugly forms, has become so commonplace and so widely available for viewing, that it’s really an issue of “When are we going to take responsibility for the society we have allowed to grow up around us?”
    I say “allowed” because without our consent, condoning and economic support as consumers of the news, movies, video games, television shows, magazines, books and whatever other means by which violence is marketed, it would not have the standing and be the lucrative income generator it is. But more than that, we would not have become hardened, slowly over time, to the adverse effects of so much exposure to maiming, killing, and destruction.
    We live in a society (and a world) where a famous sports figure can murder his wife in a fit of jealously and, with abandon, continue to seek the spotlight…and receive it. A world where the head of state of a terrorist nation is granted the status of honored guest and invited to speak to our youth at an accredited and acclaimed institution of higher learning. A society where “reality tv” is comprised of death-defying acts of survival and “winners” are the ones left standing after destroying the competition without regard to ethics or consideration for compassion.
    Are we shocked when a teenager then murders 6 of his peers in a display of unbridled rage? Perhaps still somewhat shocked..just not surprised.
    Our lack of surprise should be the real shock. It should shock us out of the self-imposed dream state we live in and shock us into an awareness of how we have institutionalized violence. It should make us ponder the question “If what we give our thoughts, attention and energy to creates our reality, is it a surprise that violence, in the form of terrorism, has found it’s way to us?”  Whether it’s the terror of one boy murdering 6 of his friends or 19 terrorists murdering 3000 of our citizens…it all begs the question, “What is my personal responsibility for the perpetuation of violence?”
    We are not powerless nor are we helpless in this matter. We have choices, every day, around that which we chose to read, watch, speak, and give our attention. Remedies start small and local but eventually  spread large and wide.
    What can you do?
    Remove the word “hate” from speech. Do not watch or purchase violent video games. Do not watch violent television shows. Do not read about violent acts of crime. Do not allow anger to drive your behavior in ways small and large. Do not watch or patronize violent sports. Do not purchase violent toys for children. Do not seek revenge. Look for the ways violence crops up in your immediate life and make efforts to eliminate it.
    Slow down. When we are burdened with more than we can do it’s a common reaction to express the stress we experience with anger. Model a more “civilized” and “natural” lifestyle for the children…for they are watching and learning from us.
    In this highly technological and rapidly paced world in which we find ourselves, we spend too much time interfacing with technology and too little time interfacing with Nature. Go for a walk, daily. Spend more time outdoors. Breath deeply. Hug and be hugged. It’s not some cute, New Age philosophy. We are human, social beings and need the warmth and interaction of other human, social beings. Without it, we lose our way.
    So, perhaps the important questions to come out of the murders in Crandon, Wisconsin are “How isolated did the murderer feel? How much time was spent cultivating his values. How often did he have the love and affection of those close to him? How much time did he spend watching television/video games/internet violence? Were his parents involved and knowledgeable about who he was and what he was struggling with, feeling and doing.”
    Sooner or later, each one of us is going to have to come to grips with the world we have co-created and responsibility for the one we continue to co-create. In order to change that which we do not like and find unacceptable, we are going to have to change ourselves and how we do the things we do in order to co-crate new and more acceptable ways of co-existing.
    Until we take responsibility, and make those changes, there will be more O. J. Simpsons, more Crandons, and more Ahmadinejads.
    That’s how it works.

Did you like this? Share it:

Comments are closed.