Killing begets killing in an endless cycle

October 3, 2013
Poster in my office. I look at it every single day.

Poster in my office. I look at it every single day.

Nothing defines me as well as this poster that hangs on my office wall. Well, maybe there are other defining aspects of my life. But as naive as pacifism seems to some, it really is a key component of who I am.

It’s simple, really. I don’t think killing is every right. Not by individuals. Not by the state. Not by anyone.

Poor Rodney King became an unwitting sage when he asked, not-so-rhetorically, “Can’t we all just get along?”

The fact is we can’t seem to all get along, not kids, not family, not people, not religions and not nations. Certainly not nations.

peace CUWhen we got cast as the World’s Police Force it meant we almost always have to intervene in stuff that isn’t directly related to us. We carry the burden of evil brought about by crazy people all over the world. Not even our own people, necessarily, and God knows, we have our share.

Can we stop?

Can we let go of the burden of policing the entire world?

Of trying to right wrongs we can’t possibly do anything about?

Or if we must do something, can we choose a decisive and quick action and not drag things out?  The horrific images of the victims of chemical (and civil) warfare are excruciating and intolerable. It’s hard to not want to do something. But it seems like we never do anything quickly and effectively. Somehow, a few strikes always drag out into sending men and women to war.

Sure, there’s a bigger picture. Bigger stakes.  I get that.  But at some point we have to decide we’re not going to put the lives of our sons and daughters, our fathers and mothers, husbands and wives at risk unless we’re directly threatened.

At some point, we need to understand that violence only begets violence, over and over.

And yet, the violence in Kenya, those terrible murders, have challenged my strongly held views with a power I didn’t think possible.  What on earth is behind such a heinous crime? Why?

There’s a vast amount of evil in the world.  Perhaps no more than there ever was, but our ability to learn about it, see it first-hand on video instantly, has accelerated. And brought home the terror and the horror.

What is to be done?

I have no answers, only questions. And the belief that killing is wrong.


9 comments on “Killing begets killing in an endless cycle
  1. I’m with you, 100%.

  2. admin says:

    Someone I know well commented about the Kenya murderers, “I can see no reason for them to continue to live” and although I am against all killing, I couldn’t disagree. I am…gobsmacked…by what goes on in the world.

  3. Sadly, “decisive and quick actions” almost always involve chemical warfare. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were certainly decisive and quick — but were they the answer? That depends on the question. If the question is/was “How can we quickly, decisively, and effectively put an end to this war?” then, yes, using the atomic bomb was the answer. Was it the only answer? Probably not.

    I think that part of the problem is that we, all too often, look for the “quick fix” — the decisive and quick action — when what is really called for are long-term solutions. These solutions include educating folks so that they can make moral and ethical decisions, providing opportunities for communities to sustain themselves —- pulling people out of poverty. Let’s face it, if you don’t have enough food and someone agrees to feed your family in exchange for your taking up arms, you’re going to take up the arms. If you are unable to read and write and to, therefore, draw your own conclusions about your government, then you must rely on those who can to provide you with the answers — answers that are usually just highly-charged rhetoric designed to sustain those in power and line the pockets of the elite. If all you hear from those in power is “Death to America”, of course you will think that America is evil and because you lack access to education, you will believe it to be true.

    I don’t have the answers any more than anyone else does, but I think that the key to combatting these things lies in long-term and far-reaching programs designed to educate and to create sustainability. It’s not that we are doing too much, it’s that we’re not doing enough.

  4. Barbara says:

    I JUST scheduled a post on this very topic – give peace a chance. The intolerance seems to be bubbling over in all of us. Well, most of us. It’s senseless. What is wrong with us as a whole? I feel heavy under the weight of it at times.

  5. Go see the Disney Nature film “Chimpazees” and it will all be explained. Males have too much testosterone, and so they apparently cannot help themselves… That and religion will be the end of us all.

  6. Susan Cooper says:

    There has always been a need for peace. There is too much violence in the world. Whether it is “justified” by war it is still violence. I really love this post and believe EVERYONE needs to take it to heart. 🙂

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