rethinking violence…

 

Sitting with this quote, recently: “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent” (by Isaac Asimov) and I thought, “Should we expand our definition of violence?”

 

I think we often view violence through a rather restrictive lens of war and aggressive, physical assault.  However, is it truly too far a reach to suggest that words or actions that cause harm, injury, or death are also a form of violence?

 

Isn’t it violent to legislate healthcare out of the reach of the elderly, the poor, the ill?

Isn’t it violent to deprive food from children and the elderly, by cutting the programs on which they depend?

Isn’t it violent to marginalize an “other” (fill in the blank) virtually placing a target stirring fear and hate?

 

The poor, the elderly, the ill, the undocumented, the marginalized (including Muslims and LGBTQ) are easy targets for leadership that is incompetent.

 

We harm or we benefit. 

 

So, what do we do?

 

We bear witness.  We speak up.  We speak truth to power.  We stand and we walk in solidarity with those who suffer, the marginalized and oppressed.

 

But perhaps, even more importantly…

 

We begin with ourselves, and our own hearts and minds.  Am I willing to work for resolutions in my own life that best benefit the big picture, the long arc?  Am I willing to call upon my most creative and innovation potential to benefit all those around me and not just myself?  Am I willing to serve?  Am I willing to be vulnerable?  Am I willing to understand and embrace empathy?  Am I willing to love?

 

~j

03.22.17