Violence is Lame (and so am I, kind of)

As I’ve pre-established, violence scares the heck out of me. It’s a messy and erratic component of human experience that makes me incredibly uncomfortable. And so, as someone with clearly superior problem solving skills, I’ve opted to take the same course of action as I do with everything else that makes me even the slightest bit uneasy.

I ignore it.

As you can imagine, this is kind of a problem. It’s sort of similar to the pile of laundry to my left that’s keeping me company as I write this. (This mound has somehow managed to become three feet high, and I should probably deal with it, because soon I’m going to be drowning in it.)

But here’s the thing, both you and I (along with my Mother) are fully aware that I’m probably not going to do anything about that sea of clothes. My knowledge of right and wrong coexists with a distressing level of denial that I just can’t seem to shake. It’s a development that seems to have snuck it’s way into all areas of my life, proving to be equally detrimental to the cleanliness of my room as it is to my understanding of violence.

In my previous reflection I acknowledged a few instances of my own violent conduct. These examples, which I had believed to be evidence of successful introspection at the time, were really quite dismissive, and it’s been eating away at me since. Sure, I turned to violence as a form of childhood conflict resolution. Cute. (Well, actually, maybe not.) But so what?

I’m uninterested in amusing little anecdotes.

My relationship with violence is much more vast than can be captured by a few isolated childhood events. The repercussions that result from the choices I make today, and the way I conduct myself tomorrow, are of much greater relevance.

Do I look to active violence as a tool with which to solve the confrontations I encounter today? No, of course not. (I have far too little upper arm strength for that. Plus it would just be generally uncool of me.) Do I deserve a pat on the back for it? Probably not.

Although disguised in it’s passive form, violence is still a prevalent aspect of my life. I regularly overlook the violence associated with the media I consume, the products I buy, even the food I eat. In each of these instances, I am a bystander. My choices succeed in condoning violence through inaction. And, thanks to a bit of effective self-deception, I am able to ignore the repercussions this causes.

I want to be better than that.

I am better than that.

I have a responsibility to make choices fuelled by more than short term self-interest and to hold myself accountable. I wish to strive towards true awareness, closing the gap between my actions and self-image, in spite of how uncomfortable it may be. I am no longer willing to project the notion, onto others or myself, that I am empathetic and responsible if my actions do not reflect these same qualities.

The consequences of violence exist independent from my acknowledgement of them, and to continue to disregard this would be an exceptionally poor strategy; one nearly as poor as the strategy I’ve implemented in regards to my laundry. Following all this reflection, I am now unsure which is a messier place; my mind, or my bedroom floor. What I do know, with absolute certainty, is that even a mountain of clothes could never drive me crazy the same way a single thought can.

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