Every evening we turn on the news only to see that mankind has developed new and inventive ways of killing each other. Violence has become commonplace in many areas throughout the world. However there is still hope that one day mankind will learn to live together in peace. Violence is caused by a combination of genetics, fear, ignorance, emotional outburst, and prejudice. Most of these causes can be cured by education. However the capacity for violence may always be hard wired into our genes. (www. Yale. du)
By educating people as to what causes violence and how to effectively deal with the emotions that lead to violence, I believe that we can eliminate approximately 90% of the violence in the world. However, I do not feel that mankind will ever completely remove violence from society due to the fact that violence is integrated into our genetic structure. Before we can stop violence in our society we must first learn to take responsibility for our actions and for our children. Today we are having children at a younger age than ever before.
When children are born to parents who have not reached the emotional maturity necessary to properly raise children then mistakes are made and the proper values are not taught correctly or at all. This problem can be resolved for the most part by teaching our children the consequences of their actions. For example, we need to teach our children that as much fun as sex can be, sex has some very real consequences. These consequences can only be handled correctly be those people who have had the life experience and have the emotional maturity to know how to properly deal with these consequences.
Adolescence is a difficult time for most young people, a time of confusion and unstable emotions. The added pressure of parenthood on top of the normal pressure of adolescence is almost unbearable of some young parents. (kidshealth. org) Today’s children are surrounded by images of violence in the media. Parents should take responsibility for what their children of are exposed to. Kidshealth. org offers A Parent’s Guide to Surviving Adolescence which says, “Television shows, magazines and books, the Internet – kids have access to tons of information.
Be aware of what your child is watching and reading. Know what your child is learning from the media so you can explain what’s being said or clear up mistakes. ” By knowing what your child is watching parents can prevent their children from making the assumption that violence is the correct way to handle a situation. Besides taking responsibility for our children we also have to learn to take responsibility for our own actions. People today have a tendency to rationalize whatever action that they feel will benefit them personally.
For example, there have been reports in the news about people who have been killed over little more than the change in their pockets. A need for wealth and power can lead some people to rationalize the murder of another person if it would benefit them in some way. In The United States people have been increasingly asking the government to regulate several aspects of our lives, including everything from which video games are allowed to be sold to telling us what our children should be allowed to watch.
I am not against a rating system for movies, however I do feel that this rating system should be used only as a guide and the parents should be ultimately be responsible for which television shows or movies that children are allowed to watch. We should be responsible for our own actions. We should not rely on the government or anyone else to tell us how to behave. Millions of years ago when mankind first appeared on this planet we developed the “fight or flight” response to danger. This response is instinct and takes place on a subconscious level.
The “fight or flight” response was developed to help keep us alive. When faced with danger such as a predator this instinct helps us to determine quickly if we should run for safety or stand our ground and fight. Over time as mankind has evolved and learned to develop the technological marvels we are so accustomed to today this instinct has become almost obsolete. The average person today lives in a well constructed home not a cave or teepee. We have learned to avoid danger in almost every aspect of our lives.
There are many ways that we have learned to protect ourselves, from safety equipment to the warning labels on the side of an over the counter medication package. All of these safety measures that have become a part of our everyday lives have all but eliminated the need for the “fight or flight” response. Although we have virtually eliminated the need for this instinct we have not learned to deal with the emotional impact that fear has on us. This can lead to people making rash and unreasonable decisions during the times that this instinct is in effect.
By educating people from a young age about the “fight or flight” response and the strong emotions that it produces we can learn to control our fear and to have more control over our actions during these times of heightened emotion. Religion has been used to justify violence in places like the Middle East, where people have been killing each other for generations simply because they do not agree with the others religion. There have been several religious conflicts over areas where important religious events have taken place.
Anger over another religious group claiming these holy lands have lead to generations of fear and hatred between these religious groups. By educating the children of these religious groups to be tolerant of religions and cultures these groups can learn to compromise, and find nonviolent solutions to these problems. Have you ever been so angry that you wanted to hurt someone? Emotional outbursts are also sometimes used to justify violence. Anger, jealousy, even greed have been known to be motivating factors in violent crimes. Being human we have powerful emotions that can overwhelm us if we do not know how to properly control them.
At one point or another we have all felt justified in hurting another person, either through anger, jealousy, fear, or any one of dozens of emotions. At least part of, the key to controlling these emotions is realizing that there is no shame in feeling these emotions. It is only how we choose to act on these emotions that can be wrong. By giving in to emotion and choosing to injure another person we only continue the cycle of violence. Methods such as meditation, counting to ten, and just simply talking to someone can be used to control anger.
Fear can usually be resolved through education. A fear of snakes for example can usually be overcome by learning about snakes and how to handle them. Greed is more difficult to control. The desire for wealth and power can lead people to do things that most people would never dream of doing. However, by teaching our children to value life and the lives of others over wealth and material possessions we should be able to all but eliminate greed from our society. Another factor that can lead to violence is stereotypes. Stereotypes are dangerous because they can lead to fear and prejudice.
Humans have a tendency to fear that which we don’t understand. Generalized assumptions about a group of people can only lead to unreasonable fear of that group which in turn can lead to violence against that group of people. For example, if I said that all black people believe that all white people are ignorant rednecks, that would be a stereotype, and may result in some white people being angry with black people for thinking that all white people are ignorant rednecks, even though most black people do not actually believe that all white people are all ignorant rednecks.
By educating our children in how to deal with emotions such as anger, hate, and prejudice we can make great strides in eliminating violence from our society. (Anger management & violence in society) Children in today’s society are constantly struggling with emotions that they have no idea how to deal with properly. Sometimes when overwhelmed by emotions that they do not understand these children lash out violently. When parents help their children to learn how to properly handle their emotions, children are far less likely to react violently to these emotions.
Violence is caused by many factors. Although we may never fully eliminate violence from our society, by educating ourselves about these factors we can greatly reduce the amount of violence in our society. Violence is “wired” into our genes, but, we can learn to use good judgment to help us overcome the outdated responses we have developed as we have evolved. The best defense against the many factors that cause violence is education.
Courtney from Study Moose
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