The most valuable lesson I learned as an adult in a kindergarten classroom was this….
If I showed up grumpy and looking for a fight, I was sure to find one. If I showed up filled with light and positive energy, I’d find that instead.
Our expectations shape and form our reality.
In a conversation with a reader yesterday about violence, he asked:
Is there a reason we humans could not stop killing other humans in an instant if we all choose to stop? It does not take time, it takes choice right now, simultaneously!
Why don’t we choose to stop?
Here is what I have in response:
First….Is violence a learned behavior?
I was spanked as a child and learned that spanking was a part of discipline.
Did I spank my child?
Yes, quite minimally, but each time I’d done so, I felt horrible. I’d lost control and let anger drive my reaction. Where did that feeling and awareness come from?
I’ve asked, and my son does not consciously remember any meetings between my hand and his bottom. Perhaps we’ve ended a cycle?
Second…Can the human mind, culture, and experience change in an instant?
Can we wipe away a lifetime of experience and conditioning from the human mind by snapping our fingers?
In my experience, meaningful change is a building process, requiring time and patience.
Third…Does choice require awareness?
Going back to what I learned in kindergarten, why does media focus so heavily on the negative? Does that obscure our view of what’s possible?
“Violence has been in decline over long stretches of time,” says Harvard professor Steven Pinker, “and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species’ existence.”
What do you think?
Should we share the good news?