Give Peace A Chance

January 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured

Peace

By Bob Holof

On December 8, 2010, about a month earlier, the world memorialized John Lennon on the 30th anniversary of his murder. Lennon was the most famous member of the Beatles, partly because of his composing talent and mostly for his stand against violence. GIVE PEACE A CHANCE was his song and his prayer, and defined his association with the principal that civility was the answer to a great number of the world’s problems. His death at the hands of an armed assassin was horrible and ironic.

At the time of his death, and at the many worldwide memorials held a month ago, I remember how surprised I was by how easily everyone seemed to slip into the comforting illusion that this was the act of one demented individual and how unable or unwilling people were to connect the dots. We were living in a violent world where leaders and prominent supporters incited violent acts. Some demented people would hear these words and see these images and go over the edge and commit these acts.

To me it was clear that with prominence comes responsibility and prominent people should be toning down, not ramping up the violence and they should be separating themselves from those supporters who sprinkle their political, religious, or personal pronouncements with words that could incite violence.

Now a month later, after the mayhem in Arizona, perhaps chastened by the fact that this violence put them in personal danger, many of our leaders spoke of toning down the rhetoric. Others, however, took great care to refer to this as a random act by a single demented individual and made it clear that they did not think incitement to violence had anything to do with this massacre.

I don’t think anything is served by pointing to Sarah Palin’s target map or anything said by Glen Beck as the direct cause of this violence, but neither of them have followed the lead of Don Imus who admitted to having said on more than one occasion when speaking of someone he disrespected, “He should be shot” and his pledge to never say that or anything like that again.

In the 30 years since John Lennon died tens of thousands of people have been murdered in this country by violent people. Oklahoma City, Ft. Hood, the World Trade Center, made the headlines, but still few of those who could exert influence in words and deeds took the time to censor themselves and refrain from saying or doing anything that could ramp up the atmosphere of violence that pervades us. Lennon’s message of love has not been heeded.

There is an art to persuasion without rancor. It is time we learned it. If not, no one is safe.

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The Good Men Project

January 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Cool Links

The Good Men Project I like this site because it offers readers posts that are outside stereotypes.  The site often offers posts with such titles as : Are Men Inherently Violent? and Man To Man With Russell Simmons. Check it out.

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Sometimes Humans Are Not The Best Kind

August 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

I don’t want to get into politics here but what kind of people kidnap and torture children in the name of their god and/or their beliefs?

I’m referring to a story on CNN.com http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/08/07/iraq.kidnapped.boy/index.html, about a six year old boy, the son of a policeman, kidnapped in Fallujah and tortured for two years by Al Qaeda operatives to pressure the father into releasing a number of prisoners.

So again I ask what kind of men can inflict pain on another human.  I know in order to do that they need to objectify the human in front of them.  It is as if that human is made of cardboard. That’s the same process rapists get to rape. 

I’m not a psychologist, therapist, or anything like that, so I don’t know the exact process and the reason there are a large number of people that have the ability to objectify others in order to commit their crimes but I am a victim of a sexual assault.  I have been on the other side and have experience this objectification and it is tremendous.  All of a sudden everything that you are, all your experiences, your essence as a person become meaningless in the eyes of someone else.  

You become a nothing.

In order to survive you disassociate and you experience the crime being perpetrated against you as if it was happening to someone else.  When it’s over and you return to your body you go through a process of shock and then depression, guilt, sadness and hopefully one day of acceptance.

We humans have the capacity of love and hate and our minds make those choices at every moment.  We choose between to love and respect or to ignore and objectify.  We do that even in the smallest of things; like cutting in line in front of someone else in line without thinking of the needs of the other person.

I hope this little boy has the ability to live with what was done to him as the scars on his soul are deeper than the ones in his body.  As for myself the shame, guilt and sadness have been dealt with and now are part of my life experience and allow me to feel more empathy for others that are victims of violent acts.

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