Parkland Press

Monday, June 1, 2020

Another View

Thursday, April 25, 2013 by MARK RECCEK in Opinion

Violence is not the solution to our problems

Many of us were glued to the television, Internet and radio, this past week, as we followed the Boston Marathon bombings and the apprehension of one suspect and the death of his brother.

These events caused me to ask how and why man desires to harm other humans.

Thomas Hobbes argued in "Leviathan" man in a state of nature was "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short."

There is no question about it, more than 300 years later, man still has a predilection for nastiness and a sick bent to harm his fellow man, by word and deed.

Sadly, violence still exists, even in today's far more civilized society.

Many of us have experienced it on the road in our vehicle when another motorist angrily shakes a fist at us because our driving was not up to par.

We see it in our schools by the bullying taking place among students.

Media outlets transmit violent images to us every day.

Often what engages us, as viewers, is the power and strength displayed by man, and the harm he can do to others.

When disagreements take place among nations, violence is extended by way of military might rather than sitting down – truly sitting down – listening to what the other party has to say and talking through our disagreements.

I recall as a child the simpler days when the schools I attended were safe.

Standards and rules were not as strict regarding what we brought to school.

This was because a knife or gun never entered a school. They simply didn't belong there.

I remember openly roaming about the community I grew up in, happily interacting with my friends, never fearing for my life or the lives of those around me.

I yearn for days past when television shows and movies did not place an emphasis on violence.

Where have those days gone? What have we done wrong as a "civilized society" to allow and enable such evil?

I believe the best way to confront evil in the world is to teach our children at a young age, inside our homes, that violence is not a solution to our problems.

Rather than teaching a young child to defend himself physically after he's been struck, teach the child to walk away and report the incident to an authority figure.

If something appears visually disturbing on the television, switch the channel to a show or program offering a topic and images geared more toward family viewing.

If you are on the road in your vehicle and someone raises a fist your way, simply smile at the other person and proceed on your merry way.

If it's found the Boston Marathon bombing suspect in custody and his dead brother were responsible for the Boston bombings, the surviving brother should answer for his crimes.

That's what our legal system and justice is all about. Our actions always have consequences.

The Boston bombings and the violence we are exposed to each day should lead all of us to reflect on what part we play, if any, in perpetuating violence and how we can help eliminate some of the evil in our communities and world.

Rather than continue striking back at one another, we should explore alternative, more positive avenues to channel our anger because violence impacts all persons involved.

The words spoken by Jesus in the Bible may be more instructive today than in any other point in recent history: "... for all who draw the sword will die by the sword" and "Love thy neighbor."

Let's spread love instead of the violence and hatred.

Mark Reccek

editorial assistant

Whitehall-Coplay Press

Northampton Press

Catasauqua Press