A Propensity for Violence

I recently noticed something that puzzled me, I thoroughly enjoy my up-armored walkabouts of late. I throw my armor on and go for a leisurely walk around the neighborhood. But people I see along the way behave strangely.

Human nature

I am reminded of an excerpt from the SEAL Ethos, “I stand ready to bring the full spectrum of combat power to bear in order to achieve my mission and the goals established by my country. The execution of my duties will be swift and violent when required yet guided by the very principles that I serve to defend.” In particular “swift and violent”. I guess I have assumed this was the mindset of those who not just go into harms way, but stand up to evil. It boils down to accepting a level of violence that I believe we all have as humans, but that somehow we have reprogrammed over the years.

All violence is bad?

I believe it stems from the idea that all violence is bad. Somewhere along our history we decided that we were so civilized that violence of any kind is by default bad and those who would commit violence by proxy are bad. So, in an effort not to be labeled “bad” we avoid violence. It is not a bad thing to avoid violence when possible, we all should have an understanding of avoidance, deterrence and de-escalation. However, if you truly are to understand that philosophy I would hope it would be because you have an understanding of violence.

Those who hate themselves, hate others

We may wish we were more highly evolved where violence was foreign, but that is a far stretch from our current reality; all of our realities. There is a bridge that many have to pass at some point where they recognize they must use violence, some will do anything to avoid crossing that bridge to the point of being a volunteer victim. I have spoken with these types of people and I am flustered by how they can look down on me as someone who will use “the full spectrum of combat power”, yet they won’t do anything to defend themselves.

Your true capacity

At the very heart of the issue is coming to grips with being violent. I don’t think good people think of themselves as violent, but acknowledge the capacity to be violent. You have to be willing to inflict injury or even death and more than likely be willing to cope with injury or death yourself. I think that is the secret, the willingness to accept injury or death as an outcome separates a lot of folks out there. Some do not recognize what is at stake and therefore do not see the importance behind being violent. They do not appreciate the wonderful things they have worth living for on a daily basis and in some cases dying for as well.

So, what puzzled me while on my walkabout is how so few people are willing to speak with me as I’m on my walk. I go out of my way to smile and say hello and the number of people who avoid eye contact or won’t even say hi back really bothers me. I mean if I were carrying a blood laden chainsaw I might see their point. Another great excerpt comes from the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, “be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time.” Live your life and don’t be afraid to be violent.

 

One thought on “A Propensity for Violence

  1. flashback says:

    I often heard that quote but did not realize where it originated…Thank You.
    I guess I don’t consider it “violence” if I’m protecting myself/family/friends…but I maybe the person on the receiving end had a different perspective.

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