Can you think of a time in your life where violence or aggression served you well? Are violence and aggression natural human reactions to situations? I do not believe they are.
In my experience, aggression is a reaction that comes from a less evolved or less mature place. Aggression is the opposite of our nature which is love. As people mature, they are less likely to engage in violent behavior. Violence and aggression are reactions that are a side effect of fear. As we mature as beings, our fears subside and the likelihood of aggression decreases. The reduction of fear and reduced likelihood of aggression are proportionate.
Each and every week, if we turn on the news, we are likely to hear stories of violence. People who “snapped” and went into a school or work place and slaughtered people. Or people who became enraged and murdered their lover. These stories are not rare and not difficult to find. They occur constantly. As a society we are touched and saddened by such occurrences. We scramble to make sense of it or to rationalize the potential motives for people who engage in heinous acts. We assume that they have mental issues and many might. But we are all failing to see that we each are a part of the problem.
As a reaction to gun violence we often have discussions about more strict gun laws or outlawing certain types of weapons. These may or may not be good ideas but changing gun laws is not going to solve the problem. As a culture we need to change our logic here. If we go to the doctor with a broken wrist and he bandages our head, the problem is not solved.
It seems that the one if the primary ingredients in violence is stress. Our society is a very stressful place to exist. We all have days where we find ourselves pushed to our limit. How would any of us react if we were pushed BEYOND our limit?
Reducing our own stress in life is key. Helping to reduce the stress of those around us is just as vital. We all vibrate together. We are one entity. All it takes to help reduce stress for all is a little (or a lot) of love and compassion. We could each become more aware and compassionate to the plight or stress level of those around us. If we notice a friend or a loved one or a stranger who is stressed, take a moment to find a way to help. We are all brothers and sisters. We should each act accordingly. Being selfless towards others serves all including ourselves.
Society has caused extreme stress in the lives of most of us. But society does not offer professional assistance to this who need it. It is our responsibility as a culture to provide resources to people who need it. There has been a great deal of talk in recent years of healthcare for all. This conversation should include mental healthcare for all. We are an extremely wealthy nation. We are willing to spend three bucks per day on a fancy coffee, we should be willing to find a way to finance mental healthcare for all.
In western medicine we have a habit of treating symptoms rather than the source of the affliction. If we have a headache we take pills and rarely give a second thought to the cause of the headache. This is equally true for mental health. Those of us who are able to make our way to the professionals to seek help are handed a prescription more often than help getting to the crux of our psychosis. We frown on drug use on the street but are ok with drug abuse if the pills are suggested by a doctor. Is there any significant difference between self medicating and doctor prescribed medicating? I am not bagging on prescription drugs here, there is a time and a place for them, but hey are abused more often than they are utilized.
We dont put out fires by managing the smoke. The most efficient way to extinguish a fire is to snuff it at the base and to remove one or more of the components that cause the fire.
So you see, we, as a culture, as a society, as human beings are all responsible for one another. Helping others serves each of us and all of us. Finding ways to provide assistance to others is of great benefit to the greater good of all.
The path to non aggressive and non violent society starts with each of us. It is a duty that we are each on call for every moment of every day. We will often be called to this duty at the least convenient times. But lending an ear or offering a hug to a coworker or a stranger just may save lives. Love is the antidote for aggression.