Violence has threee specific meanings as laid out in the Webster’s Dictionary:
- behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.
- strength of emotion or an unpleasant or destructive natural force.
- the unlawful exercise of physical force or intimidation by the exhibition of such force.
By sheer defintion alone violence has been the most common activity that we engage in on a day to day basis. For example strength of emotion. This is THE single handedly most used form of violence. To harbour such emotion and let it erupt out into the public eye makes as all villians in nature. No longer do we desire to uplift each other but in it’s place we harbour these feelings and let them take place in the most public place of all time…social media. We ridicule and poke fun at those who may intimidate us. Those that may truly be trying to make a difference not one in their lives but in ours. The ones that are honest and have made their life existence pivotal to the longevity of our beings we allow them to be persecuted. Take the youths taking a stand about the state of the planet. Instead of listening to the voices we decided to take the lowest road imaginable and cut these individuals down to mere dust. Don’t we understand the long term effect we have when we try to suppress the ability to free think. We become just as guilty being bystanders as we would if we uttered those words ourselves. Yes maybe our youths are the major consuming of our natural resources. But don’t our youth mimic our behaviour? Isn’t that how we learn? We immitate those we respect and in turn we will become even more violent as they grown into being adults and we become seniors. Do we really want to ridicule and make fun of those that just want to be heard? What is the harm in listening? There is no harm. The harm comes when we decide that their is no value and we continue on with our self righteous entitlement breeding a new type of violent youth.
Let’s think about this. I grew up in the ’80’s We had a party line (a shared phone line between Uncle’s), one TV channel, no cell phones, pagers were just being introduced and music actually was beginning to evolve. We played Cowboy and “Indians” before it was common knowledge just how horrific we treated them. I mean the term “Indians” now bring shame but I always remember them being super cool. They lived off the land and loved all animals. They used everything they encoutered. To me they were a culture to be admired. Now if I am correct the political correct term to be used is Indegenious but to me they are just another type of human that has their storey to tell. I want to listen if they would like to share. I do have shame in the way we have isolated individuals that don’t conform to our ideal. We use violent behaviour in a way to try and control those we don’t understand. Isn’t that odd? Wouldn’t an enlightened mind tell us that we need to learn from each other? We love to pretend that we are not like everybody else but by sheer definition alone we are all one and the same.
Now back to our youth our most valuable resource. Back when I was in school your biggest fear was maybe getting an ass whopping. When we got our asses whomped it was because we deserved it. We either lied, cheated or stole but it was never because of the way we looked. Ok maybe it was because of the way we looked at somebody’s boyfriend but never because of our skin color, clothes, minds. We never set out to kill like youths do now. We wanted that person to tell others that we were tough. To be scared. We wanted to be popular by intimadation but that was merely it. There will always be abnormallies. Like poor sweet Miss Reena Virk. I thought that after witnessing that storey that the World would want to change. How disgusting is it that a handful of youth lured and swarmed a young promising youth. That should have told us then what we were manifesting. Even our video games have evolved immensely over just a few decades. The very first gun game was Duck Hunt. I remember when the gun first came out it was grey. They soon changed the gun to bright orange to indicate to children that it was in fact just a toy. Shooting ducks was fun. Like a life skill. Untill all of a sudden our senses heightened. Our capacity to consumme horror became insatiable. Horror was no longer black and white and heightened by the music that played in the background. It beame gore. As our minds began to expand our ability to conceive violence over came any need that we have ever seen before.
We romantized villans like they could save us from a World that no longer could save themselves. Our heros became vampire, werewolves, the undead. Anything that seemed so far removed from who we really were but in reality they once again became a reflection of who we were becoming. Think of this. How many times have people been recorded in their last minutes of their lives. I mean the reality of one dying. Think of just how many times that has happened just even in the last few weeks. That pair who murdered three innocent people on the Alaskan Highway for what reason. We still do not know what started their violent rampage but one can’t help but be reminded of the storey line of Natural Born Killers to comprehend where such an idea gets born. And the high school, college, festival shootings. Each one published a public manifesto. Eash one showed characteristics of having little or no desire of fitting in. Did we blink an eye. No. We are so desensitized in every way that we can no longer see what is right in front of our faces. Humans propensity for violence is escalating. The more we “evolve” the further it is we truly become. Evil is here and it walks amongst us. I shudder to think what will happen to us in the next 20 years.
People are capable of some of the most grotesque unthinkable acts. Not only to each other but other beings we are lucky enough to inhabit this planet with. I think about a time in college when I grew about from one of my friends. I will call her Lisa. She lived in the next dorm over and we became fast friends. It’s not like we shared many classes together. We just both got dropped off a week ahead of school so there weren’t many others around. There were four of us actually. Lisa, Jane and Ang. Life was amazing for all of us. We were 19. Enrolled in University and we really thought we had the rest of our lives to look forward to. The one thing that can always come in between any friendships is when boys are being introduced. You see me and Jane were roomates and Lisa and Ang were each others. There were always times when were weren’t together, class shedules, meetings etc. I will never forget the night Ang came to us crying. Lisa had found a boyfriend and she had just witnessed him slap Lisa hard. This was a shock to all of us. Not sure what to do we knew we had to be careful. Of course we didn’t want our friend to be abused but we also couldn’t scare her away. We decided that what we need was a good old fashioned girls night out.
It started simply enough. Our 70’s theme disco party. We had a big blue bucket that everybody had to pour an ounce or two of their liquor in to get into our party. That would be what we were going to drink. Yes I know it did taste exactly the way that you think. The night was seamless. We were hoping to meet Lisa’s boyfriend but he messaged her asking us to go to his place. Shutting down the party early we swaggered down to his party with our blue bin. Except for it wasn’t a party. It wasn’t even on campass. Anything that could happen to us here was a free for all. No security. No help. No friends. Just some raunchy looking rednecks that were definetly missing some teeth. Right away he slaps her. I guess she wasn’t supposed to even be out with us. Looking our way he smiles and tells us to go inside. Knowing that Lisa was going to go in we headed in as well. Something just didn’t feel right. Something was totally wrong. Making exscuses we quickly left but we had to leave our friend behind. She was never going to listen to us. Thankfully when we awoke she was in her bed. Sound asleep.
I am not too sure how it all happened but Ang told us that Lisa had dropped out of school. She moved back to wherever all those guys were from. She was gone. We were all angry. I sent her a pretty nasty email. The only response I ever got back was when she told me she was pregnant. All I could think of was what a waste. We all had plans to one day vacation in Mexico. She wanted to be a physciatrist. She was only 19. She was my friend and I loved her. During the summer months and I was out of the campus hallways it was easy to forget about Lisa. We weren’t talking. I will never forget the first day back. I was in line for my student card when I saw the first missing poster. There she was. There was my friend. In black bold letters the words MISSING made me buckle at my knees. I wasn’t sure what that meant but I had to email her. Maybe it was just that she was missing from her parents. I never found out what happened to Lisa.
Five years later while I was eating my lunch in the staff room of the bank in North Delta, BC the headline grabbed my attention first. Something about domestic violence. Just a lil burb on like page 7. I went to flip the page and her last name caught my eye. Now I know what happened to my friend. At some point after her baby was born I guess the poor lil guy couldn’t stop crying. At least that’s what the storey said. There were bruises found on the babies arms when a neighbour found him screaming. What they found was a large pool of blood and a carpet that appeared to be missing. That too later was found with her remains. It seems he severed her head from her body right in front of her son. He later told the police he did it because when he was trying to silence the boy she came to his defense. To teach her a lesson he decided to degrade her in front of a baby. He rolled her the carpet and threw her body in a ravine. He discarded her head in a different location. I have no idea what happened next. Oddly almsot 10 years later while working here in Calgary I told a co-worker the storey. She looked at me wide eyed and told me she thinks she knows him. Not sure what to think we both said her last name in that exact moment. Her boyfriend was her brother. And her family adopted her little boy. He has no idea about what happened to his mother. Thinking back now I wish I gave her all the pictures I had of my friend. She really truly was a beautiful spirit who was collateral damage of violence. I wish we lived in a World that stopped romanticizing it. I have witnessed first hand the consequences of escalation of violence and let me tell you…there are certain lines that when they get crossed you can never return to the same being you once were.