An Eye for an Eye

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind ——Mahatma Gandhi

The next time someone does something perceived as wrong to you, instead of flying off the handle and thinking of ways to get even—which seems so popular an attitude these days, why not be different and try a positive response, instead? Talk to the person. Find out why they replied so negatively to you. Was it something you said that irritated the person? Is the person just having a bad day? In short, try to understand!

Humanity is comfortable in a no-change environment. Change causes uncomfortableness, and uncomfortableness causes irritation and short-temperateness in people.

The earth, and even our entire solar system, is going through a rapid transformation: an evolutionary ‘upgrade’[i] [ii] that is causing problems in our psych. It is in our nature to be more comfortable with the same-old, same-old, rather than experiencing change.[iii]

Fortunately—or unfortunately for some who elect to stay behind, this rapid change is necessary for evolution’s sake, both for us, for our planet, and our solar system as we prepare for this transformation. If we let our guard down during these changing times, it can become habitual to shut down reason, unharness the motions, attach these undisciplined emotions to our tongue and let fly, come what may!

A good example of letting our emotions rule over reason is evident in the recent “Defund the Police” marches. Yes, there are problems with police butality, especially in Black communities. But, can you imagine our society without police to protect us from the criminal minded? Practical reason is the answer to this social problem, not unbridled emotion!

Historically, protests have brought about much-needed changes in the way citizens are abused by those in power. The problem is, hidden within the grained victories of the protesters, are buried the injured innocents that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time while these protests took place. And correcting the wrongs suffered by the innocently injured can take generations to heal, especially if they are brushed aside or insufficiently dealt with.

Looted and damaged storefronts are one example of how an innocent person or business can suffer unfairly during a demonstration. Insurance, plus other costs and inconvenience caused by rioters, are only a minor example of what is wrong with this method of gaining justice by demonstrating against our perceived wrongs.

Lives are lost during riots. Between 1954 to 1968, 41 people were killed during the civil rights movement in the United States.[vi] And that’s just one small sample of human costs caused by riots, revolts, or disagreements.

Is there a more civilized, peaceful way of protesting for the oppressed to be heard? Yes, there is!

Non-violent protests are a far superior way to gain civil rights. This has been demonstrated through proven actions by famous leaders of peaceful protests like Mahatma Gandhi, Henry David Thoreau, Te Whiti o Rangamati, Leo Tolstoy, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and the list goes on.[vii] So, we see, peaceful resolutions to our social issue happen, and are possible! Best of all, they don’t cause injury or damage to the innocent.

If we are serious about going along with humanity maturing, we have to abandon violent solutions to our problems.

Rather than rioting to solve our injustices, we need to take greater advantage of our court system. Just like the rioting slogan, “Defund the Police” is concerned only with one aspect of the problem: police violence, court trials can present to an unbiased jury or judge both sides of the argument, resulting in a more satisfactory solution to a problem.

The sign of an intelligent nation is reason through controlled emotions by the application of reason – Mayra Mannes

We also have to think about our future and the future of our children. Will we give in to the rioters and hot-heads and let them stain the good name of humanity by allowing them to solve their issues through rioting and violence? Or will we leave our children a legacy of superior, more just, and binding laws that will leave a legacy of comfort to them that reason, not violence, is the better road to a happier life?

[i] Cosmic Evolution: an Interdisciplinary approach: https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~ejchaisson/cosmic_evolution/docs/fr_1/fr_1_site_summary.html

[ii] Cosmic Evolution by Eric J. Chaisson: https://www.physicscentral.com/explore/writers/chaisson.cfm

Lena M. ForsellJan A. Åström

[iv] Lemmings: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemming

[vi] Civil Rights Movement: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Memorial#:~:text=The%20Civil%20Rights%20Memorial%20is,the%20Southern%20Poverty%20Law%20Center.

[vii] Leaders of non-violent protests: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonviolent_resistance

A Sunday Chat with Myself—I’m suffering! I feel violated! Whose fault is it?

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” —Buckminster Fuller

Protests! Hardly a day goes by without some form of public protest taking a front-and-center headlines the evening news.

Like most people, I have had a lot of things happening in my life that I can get quite upset about, and I have written letters, both in protest and support, to many community and political leaders, but I’ve never found myself in a position where I felt that joining a demonstration was the best solution to an issue. History has shown  exceptions, of course, like Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful protests that finally freed his country from British rule, and many of the very large American demonstrations that had a great influence in the 1950s and 1960s in helping to end the Vietnamese and Korean wars, but these were big demonstrations that gave politicians little choice but to take notice! I can’t see where very many of the smaller demonstrations and protesters have left much of a permanent mark on social issues.

Another problem  I have with most of the demonstrations that I’ve watched on news channels is that they seem to attract characters with a very destructive mindset. They smash storefront windows, upset cars, set tires on fire, and it is usually this type of destructive protest that our news media concentrate on, often leaving us in the dark as to what the demonstration was about in the first place. The drama is the news: not the cause of the event.

Does the public ever ask, who has  these small, destructive demonstrators impressed or influenced? Certainly not the shop owners who find their store windows broken and stores looted by the hooligans who use these demonstrations as an avenue to vent their destructive behavior!

“Say what you want but NEVER say it with violence!” —Gerard Way

I once listened to a commentary by a reporter who had been covering some demonstration—I forget which one, now—another argument against the effectiveness of these small, destructive demonstrations: how long are they remembered? Anyway, the reporter had interviewed several of the demonstrators, and with few exceptions, most didn’t even know why they were demonstrating; it was a cool thing to do. Besides, there friends were also here somewhere in the crowd, and they wanted to be with their friends.

On the other hand, there are many protests that have brought about great and lasting change in society, the present—and very effective—MeTo Movement that have brought to justice several high profile sexual molesters and the Parkland Student gun control movement that has actually managed to move the American government closer to placing some regulation  on automatic, assault weapons.

So, the question I ask is, what causes some demonstrations to have an effect on the habits of society, and others thankfully forgotten within days of their occurrence? The answer appears to be that, something eternally deep within our evolutionary psych, woke up and said, it’s time for change,—like I already mentioned, the MeToo movement and the Parkland student gun-control movement.

The time has come, in our evolutionary cycle, for women to realize that they were equal to men in all respects, not men’s servants; that our schools are a place of education and freedom: to elevate and magnify the status of man, not be a place of fear and violence to degrade and humiliate us.

Also, the day of violent demonstrations should now be part of our evolutionary past and, hopefully, replaced with a higher standard of communicating our likes, dislikes and differences between ourselves. Change is good! Change is what evolution is all about.

But, change should respect the concerns of all members of society, not just an elite few!  Let’s bring change about, as Martin Luther King Jr. suggests: “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” Write to your Prime Minister, your President, your Member of Parliament, your Congressman. Form lobby groups; sign petitions. The old  cliché still holds true, it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease,  but let’s keep that “squeak” a non-violent squeak, please!

“One man cannot change the world, but one man can communicate the message that can change the world.” —anon