The kind of violence that was unleashed in New York, Washington and in a field in Pennsylvania is no different than any other violence. Those who feel honored to do damage to others do not value themselves. Acting as if there were a difference in this situation is to miss the point entirely. The school shootings in Colorado and Georgia (and the hundreds of copycat threats throughout the United States), brought the issue of violence in our schools and our society to the forefront of our national conversations.
Unfortunately, what was being said and not said left the majority of people feeling as if there was nothing they can do about the situation. It also left those charged with the responsibility for the safety of our children, while they are in school, choosing from solution alternatives that do not reach the heart of the matter. The only solutions to any of these circumstances require action from each of us.
With these gross manifestations of violence in the United States, the feeling of powerlessness is increased. It is based on trying to make it appear that there are different kinds of violence, some good and some not. The pilots who hijacked the planes that became the instruments of violence felt God was on their side. As a society we have reached the critical turning point in our global history. Will we live with violence, justified or not, or will we choose another path? And what can we as individuals do about it?
The most important misconception that must be done away with is the notion that there is nothing we can do. Every single person alive today is either part of the solution or part of the problem. We simply need to start telling the truth about it. Each person, regardless of their role or responsibility in every society has an opportunity to contribute. Some actions are more obvious than others and no one is without a choice to be made. Some of them are going to require drastic changes in attitude and/or behavior. Some are going to require shifts in our national and personal priorities. We will simply have to decide what kind of society we want to live in and what its values will be.
Is it clear that the root causes of all damage and violence are the result of the actions people who have been touched and damaged by violence themselves?