Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
Our culture is filled with violence. We are surrounded by it, entertained by it, given a steady diet of it, as if violence were like water, the universal solvent, apply it to any issue. Violence will wash it away.
We are confused about this, and most of know the axiom, violence does not solve anything, but most of us fail to live up to this principle, either because we ourselves are engaged in various forms of violence, or because we stand by and watch without protest the violence perpetrated against others, friends, opponents, strangers, and we do nothing.
Physical violence is easy to speak against, but it is hard to stop without the application of violence against it, even the energy required to simply restrain someone can be violent and it often is.
Violence in our rhetoric is another matter.
We have come to accept it; the casual insult, the course words, pandering to base and the basest among us.
When we do this we lose.
I understand the impulse to fight fire with fire, to not turn the other cheek, but to instead return the slap of an open palm with the power of a closed fist.
This will only prolong the struggle.
We cannot keep digging downward, we will never arrive at a level field that way, never be able to engage in an honest-open exchange of ideas.
When we are on the defense we are not in dialogue, when we are contemplating our next assault we are not in dialogue, we are at war, and in that state our hearts and minds are empty, we have nothing to share, nothing to win, nothing to gain.
We are all losers at that game.