Humble Dogs

That they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts. Matthew 13:15b

Archive for the tag “violence”

Why the Violence?

This is a time when a lot of the cooler conversation will be about violence and how to combat violence. It has been pointed out that most or all of the perpetrators of mass shootings have been on medication to control their behaviors. Probably is true, I have no way of knowing so with a grain of salt, I’ll take this as fact. Many people want to point the finger at the drugs or the misuse of the drugs as being the cause that made these shooters commit their violent acts. That I have trouble with.

Before going any further, I would like to give a link to a lady with a lot of experience with coping with troubled youth and the use of drugs to control behavior. Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane. She is a saint.

One of the on-going problems facing communities is juvenile delinquency, a form of violence. In schools, the continuing topic teachers and administrators are asked to deal with is bullying, a form of violence. Since I was attending Junior High school some 60 years ago, juvenile delinquency and bullying have been ongoing problems facing society and I am sure they have been topics of discussion for hundreds of years.

Let’s face it, we are a violent society; a society that thrives on and enjoys violence and are fascinated by, intrigued by or even enamored with acts of violence. The majority of movies we watch glorifies violence. Most video games are themed around violence. Even cartoons most often use violence as the source of humor. Violence in the news gains the most viewers even to the point where broadcasters parade before us a litany of past similar events.

Why is violence perpetuated from generation to generation. One answer comes from Proverbs 22:6; “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” There are many adages on the same theme we are all familiar with. “Monkey see, monkey do.” “Children are the best imitators ” The violence continues to persist because as parents we train our children to react to violence in the same manner as we do, tolerating, exampling and demonstrating violence in most of our daily lives.

“What! I don’t teach my children to be violent!” – Oh, Really?
Do you perpetuate the myth of Santa Claus with your children? Or the Easter Bunny? Yes? You lied to them and that could very well be the starting point of violence. Lies they are told will always remain in the recesses of our children’s minds and just may effect their conceptual understanding as they mature.
How many of us have, in frustration, said to our toddler, “Pick up your toys or you can’t have…..” Yes? That is bullying.
How many of us watch violence on TV? So we do accept violence as a way of life.
For the most part our children will live through these parental foopahs and not resort to violence to solve their frustrations but, they will, in turn, perpetuate the same behaviors.

Within our society, over half the parents still resort to spanking as punishment for misbehavior. Even in Christian circles many justify their actions by quoting the non-Biblical adage, “Spare The Rod And Spoil The Child”. The phrase is a twist on Proverbs 13:24; “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” The rod is the symbol of authority and the discipline is a command to parents to have diligence to instruct. What the Bible is saying is that it is the duty of the parent to rightly train up the child.

It is this gradual accumulation of knowledge which children pick up from a very young age which has an impact on development which forms their social skills and character.

In the wake of the latest school shootings, a horrified and disgusted society is depending on respective governments to enact legislation which will curb these senseless acts of violence. President Obama hopes to develop new strategies to tighten gun laws and has asked VP Biden to head a task force on the causes of gun violence. As though it is the guns that are the cause. Perhaps some minor improvements will take place. But, until there is a positive change in the culture of society, a positive change in the way society in general nurtures our children, violence and the resulting tragedies will continue.

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Culture of Violence

My sincere condolences go out to the parents of the children who were killed and the families of the teachers and the families of the surviving children who were subjected to this traumatizing development at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It is impossible to make any sense of this tragedy or or any of the other school shootings that have taken place not only in the US but here in Canada as well.

In response to the Connecticut elementary school shootings, many people in both the USA and Canada will call on the politicians to enact legislation that will hopefully curb this kind of meaningless homicide  The debate will center on gun control and politicians will recite over and over the time worn rhetoric and talking points on both sides of the conversation. The news media will regurgitate all the past mass shootings as though that will in some fashion help in the debate and interview scores of experts giving their own mostly biased opinions. There-in lies the main problem, talk, bias and politics and the underlying motives of greed and self-importance.

The conversation must include the root causes of the culture of violence that permeates within our society.

Violence is the intentional use of force or power, threatened or actual, against a person, or against a group or community and can be physical, verbal or neglect and discrimination, or acts of omission, and includes obvious acts of commission by the over-use and misuse of the power of office. Violence does not necessarily need to result in injury or death, but by actions and in-actions that nonetheless pose substantial burdens on individuals, families, communities and public institutions.

We can no longer ignore the fact that violence is ever increasing especially violence against women and children, the underprivileged and impoveraged. We live in a culture of violence. Violence has become by example how problems are solved and it starts at the top with our leaders, those we elected to public office. Demeaning the opposition is violence. Closed door politics is violence. Lying is a form of violence. Deceit is a form of violence. Failure to provide is a form of violence. When our elected officials resort to violence to further their own political agendas it only follows that the public perpetuate the example.

Unless our politicians of every stripe can place their personal politics aside and join together to solve the the problems facing our country, nothing meaningful will be decided. Both, in the United States of America and in Canada, our governing bodies must divorce themselves of party politics and work in unison to solve, not only these acts of violence, but, the fiscal, economic, environmental, industrial, discrimination and a host of pressing matters facing our nations. It is this political attitude, attitude of violence, of bullying, of combativeness that permeates the legislatures and hence, by their example, the cultures of the people of our nations and that, consequently, helps promote the feelings that lead to unrest, hopelessness, and uncaring behaviors. Behaviors that can lead some to the more heinous forms violence.

I am not saying that these acts of violence are the direct fault of politicians, but they are not helping, they are not acting as leaders. Our leaders need to lead. Our elected members need to show that they actually care about the country and bring an end to the politics of greed and self-importance, self-interest. As long as there is unemployment, they are not doing the job they were elected to do. As long as there are working poor, they are not doing the job they were elected to do. As long as there are children who are disadvantaged by education, they are not doing the job they were elected to do. As long as people are not receiving the medical assistance they require, politicians are not doing the job they were elected to do. As long as there is homelessness, they are not doing the job they were elected to do. As long as politicians give more ear to lobby groups over their constituents, they are not doing the job they were elected to do.

And it all stems from greed and self importance. There is only so much resource in this country from which to do what is required. The resource belongs to the Nation as a whole and as a whole the nation must benefit fairly. If corporations must take less profit, so be it. If unions must pull back their wage and benefits  so be it. If the rich need to pay more tax, then pay more tax. If the unemployed need take a less paying job – do so. The only way to security as a nation is to set aside the political bias of greed and egos and work together to reach the truth of being beneficial for all not just cater to a particular voting group. It is not a matter of reaching compromise, it is a matter of arriving at and enacting to the truth.

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