For The Benefit Of Humanity
You Are Not Alone
Update: I wrote this article a few years ago just after the Boston bombings took place. Since then we have had more shootings and tragedies unfold. I have added an important photo at the bottom of this article that I want people to reflect on and to further reinforce the message I was trying to convey in this article. The article remains as it was when I wrote it below:
Firstly let me convey my deepest and sincerest sympathies for those affected by the bombing in Boston. What has happened this week has been absolutely shocking and tragic. I thought we were past this dark place in our history, but clearly I was wrong.
We don’t know who is responsible, but personally it really does not matter that much to me. What matters to me is why. Why go and randomly blow up everyday people on the streets of our cities and neighborhoods? What is the purpose in doing that? Is there a purpose? It used to be that the targets of such bombings were government buildings and national landmarks. Now lunatics are blowing up everyday people. People like you and me.
When I go to the local stadium to watch my team play, it has crossed my mind more than once that this could be the day that some mad individual or group decides to blow us all up. I know at a rational level that such a thing is unlikely, but those thoughts do run through my gut. We live in a world where randomly blowing up everyday people is not a fanciful prospect, it is happening now.
I don’t want to alarm people, the number of individuals that decide to go on random killing sprees and shoot or bomb innocent everyday people is tiny. I also know that the amount of good in humanity easily outweighs the bad. Our news and media make the world around us seem so much worse than it actually is. There is far more respect, kindness and love shared between individuals in society than hate and inhumanity.
Nonetheless I look at what is going on now and what happened last year with the shootings and shake my head at the predictable response to these tragic events. Adding more laws, putting more resources into law enforcement and going to war, IS NOT going to stop what we are living through from happening again. These are reactionary measures that deal with the problem at the terminal end-stage of its evil progression. We can build as many prisons, put as many police on the streets as we like and impart the most draconian level of punishment on these types of people (and I am not just talking about terrorists) and it won’t make a shred of difference. People will still go on mass shooting sprees and bomb public places.
We don’t need reactionary measures, we need preventative measures. What I mean by that, is we need to develop solutions that actually address the causes of the problem. The problem is not the gun or the bomb, it is the mind behind the trigger and the fuse. We can outlaw guns and crackdown on bomb making, but ultimately where there is a will there is a way. These crazy people will get them one way or the other.
It is not sane in any sense to go and build a bomb and blow up random people in public. It is not sane to go on a shooting spree in a cinema or a primary school and kill dozens of people. Somehow somewhere along the line, the minds of these people snapped. They became the way they are from an environment that is becoming increasingly cruel and harsh. A world that seems to commodify each of us and dehumanise us.
Many people will tell me that they have had hard lives and they did not snap and kill dozens of people. You are absolutely right, you didn’t snap. You were strong enough to not let the world or the bad people in your life change you for the worst. You were resilient enough to overcome the challenges that you were faced with. Unfortunately some people are not strong enough or resilient enough and sooner or later they can longer take it. Trauma or the harsh realities of life have different effects on different people. Some commit suicide, others abuse their children, develop or follow twisted ideologies or do horrible things like go shooting people or blowing them up. When a person is at breaking point, they can develop a very twisted philosophy and way of thinking about the world.
I am not suggesting we should be sympathetic to the people that have done this. If you are a bomber or a shooter, you are a cold blooded murderer and deserve to rot in prison. However if we don’t accept that mental illness or the harsh or cruel circumstances of these peoples lives is at least partly responsible for tragedies like what we have had this week, then they will keep happening again and again and again.
We need to start collectively taking accountability for the conditions in society that are causing people to develop mindsets that lead to mass shootings and bombings. We need to start doing something about it. That means we don’t pass someone on the street when they ask for help. It means we don’t neglect the poor or the socially disadvantaged. It means we stop saying, "well that is somebody else's problem". It means we hold our politicians accountable for the policies they make that affect our children and the welfare of society (particularly the vulnerable). It means we stop ignoring mental illness and placing a social stigma on it. We need to start looking out for each other more often, like the fire-fighters did on 9/11.
Perhaps if someone had of cared a little bit more about some of these people, we could have avoided a bombing or a shooting. It is all well and good to say that people are responsible for their actions. I absolutely agree they are. However if we are serious about preventing these tragedies in the future, then we need a more realistic and practical approach. People are vulnerable in different ways, if you leave people to wallow in their struggles when they are clearly suffering, we put future society in danger. People are not born to bomb or shoot people, they are mostly made that way by their environment. An abusive parent, a homeless adolescent, a fatherless home, an undiagnosed mental illness, bullying, drug addiction, neglect, take your pick. We are living in a society with a decaying sense of values.
Late last year, I had had enough of watching society eat itself alive. I couldn't just sit back and watch things get worse and worse. I decided to become an agent of change. For me personally, I have come to the conclusion that what is wrong with this world is largely the result of the decline in the relationship between men and women. The importance of the symbiotic relationship between men and women to the health of society is something I have discussed further in another Hub.
We learn how to properly relate to each other and develop a proper sense of values from our parents. Our parents largely make us who we are. We learn how to treat others, compromise, cooperate and care for people besides ourselves, by observing the relationship between our parents. When a mother and father behave badly to each other, children see this and they are affected by it. We also benefit enormously from having BOTH parents instill their life knowledge in us and provide for us when we are children. When the relationship between men and women declines, so does the parenting of our children. Children then grow up developing a poorer value system and are less well adjusted. They are far more likely to become a criminal, have a mental illness and face challenges later on in life. They become poorer citizens, employees, employers and leaders of society. This in turn generates major social problems which then feed a vicious cycle.
A large part of solving the social problems that have led to the shootings and bombings over the years, is to rebuild the relationship between men and women and consequently the family. Then our children are less likely to shoot people or blow them up. They will have a strong value system and be well adjusted.
This will safeguard future society from collapse.
Would male thugs, shooters and bombers be walking on the streets if their fathers were in their lives and helped teach them how to develop into well adjusted men instead of psychopaths? We need to stop allowing our legal system to separate fathers from our children and break up our families. We need to stop building broken homes.
That is my humble opinion, people can take it or leave it. I am not religious. Having a proper sense of values and passing them on to children just seems like commonsense to me.