Saturday, November 14, 2015

Violence is Not the Answer

Where have all the flowers gone?

Once again the world was shaken by an unspeakable act of violence and yet everyone wants to speak about it. The news media platforms are full of it with all the gory details. Social media is full of pundits with all the answers. Including, but not limited to their favorite cause, be it ISIL or guns or inadequate policing or the wrong religion or praying to the wrong god.

And everyone has their favorite solution to the problem. In the US it is take away the guns. France took away the veil. The military want to take lives. The police all our freedoms. None of these have been the answer. Many of these solutions have been the root cause of more violence. And yet we ignore that. It was all about we didn't take it far enough. Guns ought to be harder to get, we need to drop more bombs, spy upon the populations with more, strip more people naked, ban the black hoodie, forbid the religious veils and habits, close all the borders, police all the neighborhoods . . . Find yet another "non-violent" way to violate our humanity. And if that does not work be more violent.

I wanted to escape the news this morning. Does it really matter if it is 149 or 151 dead? Or if they were shot or blown up? None of that will change in any meaningful way if we watch another minute or find another news source. We will not solve the problem if we post another meme or demand another invasion or push the media to place blame.

We are to blame. We have been given plenty of opportunity over the decades to find a way to peace. But we continue to choice violence.

I was a hippy. A peacenik. I participated in peace marches against the war in Vietnam. I stood in solidarity with the non-violent approach to civil rights. I lit candles. If the rest of the population believes they just haven't bombed enough people I can continue to believe I haven't lit enough candles.

I urge anyone who reads this to turn off the TV, shut off the social media. They do not have the right answer. Instead sit and meditate or pray for an answer we have not yet tried. A way to peace, be it on the neighborhood or national level, which does not include violence.

Violence only begets more violence.

I do not have the answer. I just know nothing we have tried seems to work. And I am willing to live in the question of how do we stop killing each other.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know the answer either. The violence is not confined to France. There is violence everywhere. As I watched the initial reports coming out of Paris I asked those shocked, indignant people with me if they didn't realize that atrocities of this sort are being committed in much of the Middle East but is not being covered by mainstream media. Where is the indignation for those who are being attacked and/or losing their lives there? In North Africa? No one talks about those unless they involve members of the Western world who may just happen to be there.

    I will light more candles, continue to add people who are suffering in war torn areas to my prayer list and believe that if enough of us practice 'peace begins with me' instead of commenting and sharing media hype, we could maybe, just maybe start the revolution of peace.


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