VIOLENCE

 

An earlier comment about violence caused me to think more about the violence I have actually seen for myself during my lifetime, rather than having read about or seeing videos, or heard from others. Well,  to me the world is not a violent place if I based this on what I have personally seen. I have never seen blood spilled ( except for a cut), either through attack or accident. Unlike a police officer or an emergency room nurse or doctor, or combat soldier,  I have not only not been exposed to the effects of violence, I have not actually seen anyone shot or injured. I have not even seen a grisly automobile accident.

The above is actually pretty remarkable. Reading history, and the news one sees violence all the time.  There is lots of violence in movies, TV, books and games.

But when I think about it, 150 years ago, most people were on farms and small towns.  Being that there was little news of the wider world, their reality was that things were peaceful, unless they were in a war zone or high crime culture. So the speed of information from afar has created the impression that the world is full of violence when, as a percentage of the time, it is not.  There could be a 6 million people exposed to violent acts a year in the US, either through being a victim or perpetrator and that would mean that 98% of the population was not personally exposed to violence. An interesting statistic is that the incidence of fatal and non fatal gun violence in the United States has dropped by 40% in the last 20 years. Who would know that by reading and listening to the news.

So one of the ways that I have lived a blessed life, is that I have not been exposed to or suffered from violence.

So, to what degree have you been personally exposed to violence?

3 thoughts on “VIOLENCE”

  1. Interesting viewpoint, Bruce, and I like it. I read and watch more news that I probably should/need to/want to. And in that, I see a violent world at increasing unrest and unease. The vast majority of life is however at peace. Thank you for the nudge, the reminder!

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  2. I have seen a woman shot, and I have seen a pregnant woman be broadsided at a traffic stop (I helped her out of the car with her left arm torn to shreds). Beyond that, nothing else comes to mind. More remotely, I’ve seen the films of a US bomber as it dropped its bombs on Vietnamese targets (I was in military intelligence in the Vietnam war). The worst memory I’ve had was lying on a gurney at Ben Taub Hospital, and seeing a woman with a bullet in her leg curse staff and get up and walk out of the hospital cursing all the way, and seeing a man with blood gushing from the top of his head after losing a bar fight. I saw this as I was getting 21 stitches from my left eye up after going through the windshield in a car accident. I think exposure to violence is correlated with socioeconomic status. The poorer you are, the more likely it will be that we see violence. As you say, I think our exposure to violence in movies and television leads many to believe it is more prevalent than it really is. In the end, I think violence is another marker of cultures. While the US is not the most violent in the world, it certainly is the most violent among first-world countries. The reason for this is as much caused by freedom of speech as it is by greed and selfishness. I think we are definitely at a crossroads, and the mid-term elections will help determine whether we will become more violent or whether we rein in these harmful tendencies that lead to domestic and societal violence.

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