VIOLENCE: exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse: injury by or as if by distortion, infringement, or profanation: intense, turbulent, or furious and often destructive action or force : vehement feeling or expression or an instance of such action or feeling : a clashing or jarring quality :
Once again it has taken a public viewing of violence in action to move the individuals most responsible for that violence to take action to end it, even though it had been occurring for quite some time and known about by quite a few individuals, and that’s not even including the adult perpetrator and his adult victims, who obviously were all too aware about it too.
In case you are unaware of the specific incident of which I speak, I am referring to the recent firing of the Rutgers Men’s Basketball coach. Certainly there are and have been greater and more violent episodes in our society than this one… but perhaps it is our all too common belief that violence, when called by a sweeter name makes its stench more rosy… that allows for its constant acceptance by all of us in all of its various and insidious forms.
Our use of Violence in our society is almost as inexplicable as it is pervasive. It accomplishes nothing, leaves anger in its wake and only satisfies the one who uses it. And that satisfaction is almost always short lived and regrettable. And violence is also something that seems to require the immediate notice of many to even be seen or acknowledged as something that actually exists.
When experienced by the few the violent act almost always takes refuge in the deeper recesses of the brain… a shared secret among those who agree to be separate yet somehow equal, perpetrators.
Why we still resort to it is a question that by now we should have an answer and a solution to. It is a sad testament to our culture and humanity that we have not yet found one.
I have lived long enough and have worked with enough troubled and battered children to have realized that violence is not and can never be a motivational tool for any kind of positive learning experience, personal athletic improvement or moral achievement. Violence isn’t even a last resort. It’s a surrender. It’s a statement that says “I have no idea what to do!” And it truly is “the last refuge of the incompetent”.
Rather than scorned or shunned by those who have felt its wrath it seems to be handed down from generation to generation like an inherited gene. And yet I have never met anyone who has ever sworn by its instructive value as in: “If I hadn’t been for that coach/parent/mentor’s abuse in my youth I never would have developed the talents that I have today”
Whenever I see someone who is performing a task or involved in an instructive activity, resort or devolve into violence to make a point or a show or to add punctuation, I know that they have no idea what they are doing and that it’s time to walk away, get out of the way or move on to someone else.
There’s just no two ways about it… and until violence in all of its aberrant forms is always and unequivocally equated with incompetence we will forever live in a world that will at best be one of two steps forward and one step back…and perhaps even more sadly the other way around.