Acts of Violence Often Send Compassion in Only One Direction
As the world reels from yet another senseless act of violence, it’s easy to be angry at the perpetrator. It’s easy to cast blame and aspersions on his character despite the fact that prior to his most horrific and final act, most of us didn’t even know the man existed. And perhaps that’s part of the problem.
As human beings, it is inherent in our nature to need love. Yet so many live without such a basic part of life. So many never know the care, the nurturing, the kindness, the compassion that goes with a love which expects nothing in return.
Turning Adversity into Helping and Healing
Last week, I attended the 1000 Speakers Academy and listened to some amazing and talented speakers. Many spoke of the service they offered and how they help other people achieve their dreams. But several told stories of less-than-idyllic childhoods which ultimately led them to their current path, coaching others and helping them achieve their dreams.
Too many of those stories were examples of neglect, abuse, molestation and worse. I won’t lie. I came away from the experience exhausted on a physical, mental, emotional and energetic level. Yet my belief that perpetrators of heinous acts are some of the most desperately lonely, love-starved people on the planet.
I’m not going to tell you they don’t deserve to be punished for their acts, but I will say we need to look deeper into how they came to do what they did.
While many of the people I heard speak last week took truly horrible childhoods and used them as a launching point to help build a better world, too many who’ve experienced what they have simply become the next generation of abusers, molesters, and outright criminals. Their earliest imprinting taught them this behavior was normal.
Breaking a Cycle of Hate With Love
We can’t break the cycle of abuse, of criminal behavior if we don’t find it in our hearts to feel compassion for the child within. How often do you see a child act out, hitting, biting, or throwing a tantrum just to get some attention. Isn’t assaulting or even murdering someone just another example of that love-starved child acting out? Certainly the consequences are magnified as the child becomes an adult. The acts become larger as the need for attention escalates.
If the situation were different. If the perpetrators were taking out their lack of love on themselves as many do, how would our reactions differ? How do we respond when someone perpetually injures themself; when they succumb to the ultimate abuse and end their own life? Even then, we often try to blame someone else rather than looking at the victim with compassion, but there’s a huge gap between how we react to someone who injures or kills themself versus someone who takes others with them. Are they really very different in the overall scheme of things?
I implore you, the next time you hear of someone shooting a bunch of strangers in a crowd, or driving a truck into a peaceful demonstration or blowing up a train to take a step back and recognize that it’s a sad, lonely, desperate human being underneath the heinous act. It is a human being who lacks what so many of us take for granted; love and acceptance. Condemn the act if you will, but find it in your heart to show compassion for one of the most broken individuals our society has produced. I guarantee they didn’t ask for whatever happened to turn them into the monster you perceive them to be.
Please visit Light and Life for another treatise on compassion.
This post was inspired by a daily prompt found here.
With Every Heinous Act, It’s Important to Express Gratitude for All the Rest
My gratitudes today are:
- I am grateful for the reasonably normal childhood my parents gave me.
- I am grateful my life is filled with love and compassion, even when I’m too closed off to see it.
- I am grateful for a heart which can find compassion, even for the roughest among us.
- I am grateful for opportunities to be compassionate, especially in cases where it is the hardest.
- I am grateful for abundance; love, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, charity, philanthropy, social consciousness, peace, hope, harmony, prosperity, and blessings.
Love and Light
Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. She believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghost writing to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. She specializes in finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information.