Living by the sword…

I have been given a reason to think about violence this week. I’m reflecting on the children that I see who live with it. They are surrounded by it. In fact, it’s all they know. It’s what they do when they don’t know how to react. And they do this because it’s what they see. It’s OK to react in a violent way. It’s OK to threaten to kill someone. It’s OK to destroy stuff.

I know that it’s not OK to do this – but how did I learn that? My home environment. My friend’s homes, and their parents. So what happens if you don’t see a non-violent home? What happens if it’s all you know?

And how does this cycle get broken?

I’m not saying the way I was brought up was the best way. Or the values I have are the best. But I don’t think that violence solves anything. It has far-reaching consequences, and hurts not just the people involved, but sends huge ripples through lives. A huge boulder dropped in a lake.

Should we judge children who don’t know any better? Should we punish them? Will simply demonstrating love and compassion and kindness win out? Is that enough? Is there another answer? Is there another way?

If anyone knows another way, could they tell me?