Who is responsible for preventing hate and violence?
As individuals and as a collective society, we need to continually wrestle with and improve upon in order to improve ourselves as individuals and as a collective whole-which is what humanity is all about.
As a child, growing up with 4 brothers, I was a huge advocate of the phrase “I am not my brother’s keeper”. Looking back on it, even though I raised that flag, I was still held accountable for their actions. Somewhere along the lines in learning about cause and effect relationships throughout childhood and adulthood, the “Butterfly Effect” not only was real in environmental aspects-the “Butterfly Effect” plays out in all aspects of our lives.
We see it in financial/economic dynamic systems, we see it on scientific systems, and we see it across the board in human and animal dynamic systems of behavior. Nothing occurs in a vacuum, and I always question when I hear the phrase; “Isolated incident”.
So, back to who is responsible for preventing hate and violence? Unfortunately, we have been socialized to maintain the status quo, raise the flag: “I am not my brother’s keeper” and dismiss ourselves from holding ourselves accountable-”that’s not my problem”.
What I see in my own literal and figurative backyard is a reflection of me and my fellow brothers and sisters that encompasses the entire system of humanity and nature. (There is a video link to Eames “Power of Ten” in a separate discussion about perspective). So, when I see a news clip of people being murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary, Aurora Theater (which is 19 miles from me) I think about the kids that I help today, the kids I have helped in the past and I think about when I was a kid. I also think about the young men that committed the murders-this requires a lot more of my time and patience because I want to separate myself from them, judge them, hate and blame them for all the pain they have caused. But, I realize I have choices of how I can think, feel and act towards not only the hate and violence I see in the news. I see the many perspectives at hand. I reduce my problem of blaming and wanting to be angry towards “Those other people” and I find the common ground where I can wrap my head around and cultivate forgiveness in “those people”, because “those people” are part of the same humanity I live in. It would be easy to say; hey, I am not one of “those crazy people” and maintain the status quo, I remind myself that is a paradox. Changing our own perceptions/perspective and seeing the “me” in other people and other people in me. If I can see the leader in all people, which I do, I also have to see the hate and violence in all people and myself, even if I don’t want to see it. Before hate and violence catches our attention, we all participate in the judging, labeling, criticizing, jealousy and abuse of power game-which keeps us separate and alone. Who is responsible for preventing hate and violence? All of us.