A recent CNN NEWS article refers to the violence over upcoming Zimbabwe elections to include the hands of opposition supporters being chopped off in order to discourage them from voting. Many more were beaten and displaced according to the article.
I would like to suggest that this is a sad day. But the truth is, it is no sadder than other days on planet Earth. From the persecution of Falun Gong in China, to the problems in Sudan, to terrorist acts across the globe, violence is, or rather always has been, a plague on humanity.
As a whole the human race is probably viewed very dimly by other intelligent beings living in our Universe. Our inability to get along with each other, to share power, to be friendly and to cooperate with each other speaks to the reality of the human condition.
Whenever there are people who are willing to turn to violence to get what they want, you will see other people become the victim of that violence. Some of those will retaliate, if they are able.
As a whole there is slim hope for the human race to evolve into a peace loving and tolerant culture. It appears that there will always be those who will resort to base means to achieve their end goals. There is no escape from this truth that I can see.
As a whole there may not be a any long lasting solutions, but as individuals, real change can occur. By learning from the devastating consequences of violence and the cost inflicted upon those receiving the violence, we can personally resolve to refrain from such behavior ourselves, as individuals.
But then, what is violence? Is the definition of violence merely limited to the physical? What if you say a discouraging word, curse, insult or initiate a nasty stare at others? Are those actions not violent in nature too?
If this is true, and it could very well be, could it be just a short step from these angry states to manifesting physical violence? I recently read about a 74-year-old Japanese man who killed is wife, son, daughter-in-law and grand daughter with a hammer. Could this be the result of an accumulation of pent up anger, irritation and frustration with those around him spanning years, possibly decades?
Each one of us has an obligation to ‘tend our own garden’, as put forth in Voltaire’s Candide. If we don’t curb our violent thoughts and violent potentialities and focus on caring and loving those around us, is the outcome inevitable?
As human beings we have both violence and kindness in our nature. The only deciding factor as to which path we will take is choice. Thankfully, we have or were granted free will in regards to what choices we make.
Which path will you choose? More importantly, will you be consciously aware of that choice when you make it?
I suggest reading the book Zhuan Falun, you might find surprisingly important information in that book.