Much of what we hear today - in news especially - highlights the violent world in which we all live and encounter every day in one form or another. This "flavor" of the world is poured into us by ordinary technology - news and television shows - if
we are not discerning, thoughtful and careful, and choose otherwise.
And there is even a more sinister and dangerous effect of this constant barrage. It heightens fear and anxiety as almost permanent states of being, of moving through the details
of an ordinary day. I have seen the growth of this, especially in elderly people who believe everything. Recently an 87-year-old woman whom I know, living in a seniors' building, gave her whole life savings -$90,000 from the sale of her home - to
a strange young man who told her on the phone that he was her grandson and that he needed it right away. She believed him and have him all her banking information. By the next day her account was emptied. Untraceable. And this is not an uncommon story.
I have been considering that (in general) we as a society need to broaden our understanding of the word "violence." It is not only the physical attacks and wars and the military and the petty criminals who are violent. Often, we are violent with one
another in the most ordinary of ways - when we are impatient and dismissive; when we rush though encounters with others or push our way through lines in stores; when we talk negatively about anyone else, anyone at all; when we ignore the natural world or abuse
it for our own comfort; when we get pulled into the maelstrom of busyness and out of the grounded presence that is our birthright. And when we complain! Oh how we as a well-off society complain!!!
All of these considerations suggest that as a developed
society we need to consider changing a basic way of seeing the world. But I believe it is worth it, worth it indeed. Not to become over-postive, but to become realistic in relationship to the world as a whole. And to change the energy by changing our chosen
way of seeing. Track your own small violences. There's a beginning!