Until We All Deal With Greed & Want, Violence Will Get Worse

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It's not (just) about dirty politicians, weapons, corporate greed, race and religion—though they all play a big part in the psycho-drama unfolding everywhere. It's about the people struggling to survive who are driven to do the unspeakable things they do.

Not everyone—but many people—are capable of horrific acts of violence when they are pushed into a place where they feel helpless and trapped. Examples would be a mother trying to protect her children, a family evicted from their home, someone who hasn't eaten in days, people threatened by others, or living in war zones—you get the picture...  People respond differently to the struggles of life—especially when their lives take a turn for the worse. 

In the U.S. over 40,000 people commit suicide each year—that's an alarming statistic! They find life so unbearable that they just give up completely. This is a real tragedy, and something you would never expect in such a prosperous nation.

Likewise, millions of people are arrested for petty theft... Stealing food at a grocery store because they are hungry, or to feed their children; robbing someone of cash or a wallet, and shoplifting items to pawn to pay a debt. These are acts of desperation by desperate people; and though that by no means justifies them, it is a sad commentary on the structure of the societies in which they occur.

Under different circumstances, most of the aforementioned might not have occurred—especially if so many people weren't homeless, starving, victims of violence, under-paid and over-burdened with debt. Imagine that? Tens of thousands of people might still be alive, and millions need not have ended up in jail, or others need not have had their valuables taken.

But this problem goes way beyond the tragedies of suicide and larceny; what about murder?

In recent years, we have seen the rise of mass shootings, revenge killings, and terrorist attacks to an unprecedented level. Why is this? And why has it become accepted as just another story on the news or an excuse for politicians to raise contributions (and our taxes)? People mourn, argue about policies, tweet and post pictures and videos; and then a week or two later, it happens again somewhere else. The so called "people in charge" don't do anything of substance, and the media plays lip-service to the politicians.

Personally, I believe that all of these problems are rooted in greed and want. The greed of politicians and corporate contractors to make billions of dollars and live extravagantly; and the want of the average (working) person to be able to have a roof over their head, food to eat, and some stress-free time to spend with their family and friends.

There is never a thought by the weapons manufacturers selling the bombs that destroy villages, that they will kill people's relatives and create a refugee crisis, or that maybe that the survivors might seek revenge. There is also never a thought by the affluent as they parade around on TV showing off their excess wealth to a population that can barely afford to pay their monthly bills.

We've reached a point in this inter-connected world of 24-hour news cycles and instant messaging where nothing goes unnoticed. Even the poorest of the poor in third world countries are aware of what's going on. They see the injustices and inequality on a satellite TV in a public place; or on a smartphone (which are becoming ubiquitous). The gap between the rich and poor has not only grown, but it is blatantly obvious to most of the inhabitants of this planet.

Again, as I said in the beginning of this article, not everyone deals with these things the same way. However, it appears that more and more people are being pushed to their limits and reaching the breaking point where they snap out and harm innocent people.

No single politician can solve this problem; and certainly nothing will improve unless the media does their job and delves deeply into the causes of these rampant acts of deadly violence.

We all need to demand of the media and politicians that they explain why they are doing nothing to avert these tragedies. People have to stop supporting a war machine that with every bomb and bullet creates more hatred and fuels future attacks.

It's time to start talking about peaceful solutions to the problems around the world and at home; and it's also time to find ways to feed the hungry, house the homeless, get medical attention for the sick, and to lower the "cost of living" to match the incomes of those who work, or who are on fixed incomes.

Unless we address the issues of greed and want, this world is going to spiral out of control until it becomes a surrealistic nightmare or dystopia. Actually for millions of people, it already is.

Peace!

 

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