No Solutions - Just Ideas


Unfortunately I do not have a solution about how to reduce violence in the world. But I have ideas.


I don’t know what motivates someone to check into a hotel and methodically kill people he does not know who are not doing anything directly to harm him. I know misery loves company and there are times when we feel bad, and we don’t want to be with people who are feeling good. I get that. I just don’t get killing others because I am not happy with my life.


Some people think we need stricter gun laws, other people think we would be safer if we could all carry guns with us wherever we went. It is going to be difficult to change anyone's minds on these matters if they have strong opinions. Most people do not condone random killing, but I haven't heard anyone put forward solutions to which the vast majority of us would subscribe. I have no issue with people discussing or arguing the pros and cons of guns. I just think that debate is not the one that is going to help solve the problem.I


I suggest those people who do not condone random killings speak with one another about what are the solutions to this problem. Certainly there will be differing views, but I think we have to keep coming back to the basic question – how do we collectively make the world a safe place for all? I don’t know the answers, but there are a lot of smart people in the world and if collectively we focused on the solutions I would like to think we could find ways to make it happen. Maybe we won’t find perfect solutions, but maybe we will find better ones than we have today.


I have a vague memory of being in a class in high school where we had to debate pressing issues of the day. We were asked our opinions on certain issues and for purposes of the debate we were asked to hold the other point of view and debate as if that was our own point of view. I remember that assignment taught me about understanding the validity of another's position. I wonder if we all couldn't practice seeing the world from another's point of view. In graduate school I was taught that empathy is the key. We get so locked into our own way of thinking that if we could take some time to see the world as others see it, we might just be able to get closer to finding some solutions.


I think a good place to start thinking is if you had the power to change laws what would you put in place so children growing up today would live in a safer world. How would you make that happen? Why not discuss that at the dinner table, when you are with friends, on social media and whenever you can. How would you teach, promote and assist people in learning how to resolve issues more effectively? These are challenging questions, but I want to believe we have the solutions amongst us.


I taught a class once called The Social Bases of Behavior and I gave the class an assignment to build a Utopia. Each student had to think of one law they would create and how they would pay for that law and enforce that law. Then I had students work in groups and put their laws together to build their Utopia. Try as they might they had a very difficult time building that Utopia. So are we, and we aren't even aiming that high. Despite our setbacks as a civilization it still behooves us to work together to make the world a healthy place for all.

#violence #solutions

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