Violence: A Look Within Yourself
I watched with shock and terror, the videos that have been released of a man being forcibly “re-accommodated” or thrown, injured, and dragged out of a flight. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the disrespectful, unprofessional, and cruel conduct of a company a large as United Airlines. If you cannot feel safe as a passenger on an airline, why would you want to ever fly with them? The aggressive behavior that is manifesting in so many areas of life is deeply concerning, from police brutality, to school bullying, to terrorist attacks, and social/political verbal aggression. Are we forgetting that violence brings violence? Are we forgetting that if we are instigating violence, it will inevitably affect us in some way since we are living in the environment? We’re not going to escape violence if it is what we are producing.
Every day while watching the news, I ask myself what makes people, nations, and groups violent?
Groups are made of individuals. Each one of us can contribute to either violence or peace. These contributions can be very subtle; every thought, word, or small action can elicit anger or joy. I would like you to take an honest look at yourself and ask yourself the question: what causes me to feel violent?
This kind of honest self-examination needs to become a daily awareness.
It is necessary to cultivate the understanding of what causes us to react violently. By saying that, I don’t mean an outward attack, such as hitting someone or throwing something. I mean a violent feeling within.
I found that when I feel victimized by somebody (that somebody could be me) or something, a fit of anger surfaces. I dedicated many years of my life to eradicating a sense of victimization. What empowered me to move away from the victim state of mind was taking full responsibility for everything I create in my life. Establishing myself as the creator rather than the victim shifts me out of anger into loving action and constructive communication.
It is extremely empowering to stand in the position of being the cause and the generator of your life.
Look at situations in your life in which you feel at the mercy of or at the effect of “powers” outside of yourself. Meditate on the ways that you participate in the situations that are unhealthy or upsetting for you. Ask yourself how you contribute to the circumstances of your life.
What can you do to shift your ways of being, doing, and communicating so that you can establish yourself in a place of conscious choice, integrity, and responsibility? This equals inner peace.