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A Look Into Violence

Updated on April 12, 2013

"Non-violence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him." –Martin Luther King Jr.

Violence, what is it? According to the Merrian-Webster dictionary, violence can be defined as: exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse. Violence is all around now a days from what we watch to what we listen too. But where does this violence come from? Well like Martin Luther King Jr. said it comes from within. Why can we reach this conclusion? Let’s think about it.

As humans we have such beautiful attributes that make life such a joy and satisfying as well. Yet again we have another side, a darker side, which harbors within. Anger sometimes bubbles forth and creates this violence we speak off. Yes we have the capability to build and destroy things and people. To all this there must be a root for this problem, like everything else there is beginning. Are we all violent by nature? Is it something that we are born with or we learn?

Is violence within us?

We may all know we are not perfect beings. Like mention before we have attributes that are just marvelous. You may know someone or you yourself, the reader, full of good that is compassionate and loving to others. This is what truly makes us beautiful from the rest of the things on this earth, the ability to display love and other loving emotions. Even though we see it in animals as well but nothing else can display this as we do.

The other side of humans has been around as long as the feelings we have just discuss. The power that we have to destroy to harm others and ourselves has been truly frightening. When we become angry, hateful, and vengeful, violence is giving birth. Through these emotions humanity has witness wars, massacres, and genocides. So yes violence does come from within us and depending on our environment we can learn violence.

In this case we can all be born with violence within us, but one thing that is important to see is the environment we are in. We could put this example of the same family with equal resources but different environments. Both of the families teach their kids with love and provide for them the security a child needs. But the difference of where they live, who they spend time with out of the household, and what do they see. Even if the kids have that love and security from their parents depending on these things the child could grow up with that violence or learn it. It does not necessary need to be a child that has no love and no security or if they live in poverty. Everyone is prone to learn that violence.

What fuels the flames of violence?

Since the world around us is a big influence no matter how we were raised. We see that violence is everywhere we look. Some parents make the mistake of just letting their children be in front of the television for hours and not caring what do they watch. Video games are another example as well. Some parents do not know what their children are playing or what they are watching. But some children sadly enough witness violence not only on television but also in real life. Some are witnesses of domestic violence or gang violence, which shapes the way they see others and themselves.

Personally I have witness violence in real life, not only on television or video games. Twice when I was driving my car I saw a couple that started to argue in public. One of the situations the man actually hit the woman in the face. Another time a couple was arguing in the corner of the street, the body of the man showed anger, a rage that was evil. Then he proceeded to push the woman and started walking away from her and she did the same. As he walked by the front of the car I was in he had that evil look, like a demon inside of him wanting to be released.

After I witness these situations I felt like there should be a sort of justice for these women because they were being abused. And I thought to myself if I would be capable of doing that. Would I be that angered to do something like that to the love of my life? But I realized that these men most likely learned this violence and used it on several other times in their life. That they had become indifferent to the suffering and pain of others and maybe their own pain and suffering in life also caused this.

But media and our entertainment are clothed with violence. Ranging from our movies, our television programs, and as well as our video games. These things were meant for us to relax and enjoy with our loved ones. Instead we are being trained and taught to use violence, to make it something normal of humans. That we become indifferent to other humans suffering and dying, like some expendable piece of paper we are meant to see the live of these individuals. I also witness once recently at a movie theater that a couple with their child coming out of a rated R horror movie. The movie poster explains that “it is the scariest movie you will see.” The child looked about 5 to 7 years old and his parents took him to watch a horror movie. I read the plot of the movie online because I was curious to see what this child saw with his eyes. The movie had gruesome and violent images of people being burned alive, people being stabbed, and blood gushing out as water. Not to add the demonic entities that the movie promoted as part of the plot. What will this child’s mind be like if he sees these types of movies? Would he understand human suffering once he grows up? Would he be a caring and loving individual by watching such movies?

The Aftermath

We have seen the terrible things that humans can do to other humans and their home. From wars and genocides to domestic violence we see the horrors that humans are capable. It only harms us and the ones we love. It is up to us to shield our children from this violence and from becoming someone who is indifferent about the suffering of others. Even to the extreme of becoming a violent individual that enjoys harming others. Not to mention some of the school shootings this country has witnessed, it truly is sad when we learn that things like these can be prevented by just having someone care about that individual or maybe just shielding him from learning violence. Let us examine ourselves and see if there is any violence within us and take that out of us. Not only for the good of ourselves but also for our loved ones and our fellowman.

Have you been affected by violence directly or indirectly?

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World leaders trying to prevent violence


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