This will more than likely be a rambling than any concise thought. But I think I’ve reached my maximum threshold.
I do not watch the news, as it focuses on and breeds negativity. Generally speaking, there is little on the news that affects anyone directly. It simply reports the horrors, which garner ratings, which bring us to their advertisers. What will affect me (hurricanes, etc.) I will hear about one way or another. I don’t want to feed into their propaganda about how horrible the world is.
There is a tremendous amount of good in the world. People helping people. And yes, unfortunately, there is also a lot of bad.I guess this run, which I’ve been unable to avoid, began with Sandy Hook. 20 small children killed. Needlessly would be redundant, as there is never justification in killing small children. As a mental health professional I have to try to understand how mental illness can lead to this. And cognitively I suppose I do. But it is difficult to internalize, as a feeling, that knowledge at times. Then there was the gang rape of a woman in India, and her eventual suicide. Recently another woman in India died of her injuries sustained when raped and beaten by six men, despite being with her boyfriend. Today I just saw an article where a 10 y/o girl’s body was found stabbed to death in Las Vegas, possibly by her father’s ex or current girlfriend.
The day after Christmas I saw “Django Unchained” with my daughter. During the film, which I am aware is fiction, I was saddened by the violence, cruelty, and horror bestowed by men (white men in this case) upon other men (black men). Despite knowing this particular tale was fictional, the reality is that I am sure much of the cruelty committed happened somewhere in this country. I am sure someone sicced their dogs upon another human being until he was dead.
Yesterday in my class, (yes, I am teaching the Winter Mini Semester during the break) a speaker described some of the horror bestowed upon her as a child, which contributed to her addiction (she is now in recovery and spoke to foster some understanding of addiction and recovery for the class). When the class asked questions, and directed some to me about these types of horrors, the discussion turned to the violence man commits against one another. I raised the example from Django, and compared it to UFC.
We are a violent species. In fact, most are. My overweight cat chased a small dog around the house when her space was invaded. Most species will fight for survival, or even territory. But our species is excessive in their violence. We all have a dark side. We all have a death instinct. We all have a life instinct that spurs us to survival. But we also have the function of higher thought, reasoning, the ability to overcome our animalistic instincts. For some this is more difficult, due to mental illness or their own traumas. But we need to work toward a less violent world culture. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” What do you do that promotes violence? What are you willing to do to change the world?