What is the cause of violence?
Why do people hurt each other?
The answer is not so simple.
FOR IT IS NOT ABOUT THE ACTION.
We sometimes think that if someone hurts a person with a gun the answer is to get rid of the gun.
And while not making guns so easy to obtain may help, that is only part of the answer.
For if someone is truly set on hurting another, they will find something else to use instead.
The answer lies not in focusing on the symptom, the act of violence.
IT LIES IN THE UNDERLYING MOTIVATION OF THE PERSON.
Why do they want to hurt someone else?
What is it that is causing them to commit such an act?
YES, HURT PEOPLE DO HURT PEOPLE.
Yet there is more to it than just that.
For happy people do not hurt people.
Content people do not hurt people.
Satisfied people do not hurt people.
AND MOST OF ALL, PEOPLE WHO ARE CONNECTED TO PEOPLE DO NOT HURT PEOPLE.
What causes most of the violence in the world?
It comes from a profound lack of connection with oneself and others.
From the unrecognized and unprocessed pain and sadness one experiences in life.
FOR WHEN WE ARE HURT AND ANGRY AND SAD AND HAVE NO WAY TO DEAL WITH IT, WE LASH OUT.
Sometimes all it takes is to have one good friend to talk to.
Or a community that we feel safe enough in to share our pain.
Maybe even a loved one who we know is there for us in our time of grief.
YET WHEN WE HAVE NO ONE TO TURN TO, NO ONE TO LISTEN TO US, AND NO ONE TO HELP US, WE FEEL TRAPPED.
We are trapped by our own internal struggle.
And the only thing we can imagine that will help us feel better is to inflict the same pain on to someone else.
Of course, that doesn’t help.
INFLICTING PAIN ONTO SOMEONE ELSE ONLY CREATES MORE PAIN.
And that is when we choose to end ourselves because we can see no way to find relief.
The real challenge in our world is to find a way to help people from ever getting to that point.
To find a way to come together, even in our alienation, to learn how many other people feel the exact same way.
CONNECTION AND COMMUNITY ARE THE ANTIDOTES.
Yet connection and community can only be formed when we are learning to connect with ourselves.
When we stop running away from how we feel.
When we know that there really is someone out there who cares.
The cure for violence is the same cure for everything.
IT IS LOVE, PURE AND SIMPLE.
When we learn to truly love each other, we will care about each other.
And when we care about each other, we connect with each other.
Then no one has to feel alone and isolated.
And instead of acting out in pain, we can cry and release the sadness that underlies it.
WHEN WE ALL FEEL SAFE ENOUGH TO CRY, WE WILL STOP HURTING EACH OTHER.
Do you feel isolated and alone?
Are you running away from your pain?
Can you find someone you feel safe enough to talk to about it?
~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant
Host of The Conscious Consultant Hour