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The recent past has been marked with a series of publicized violent crimes. This has made people even afraid of picking up the newspapers or switching on their screens for fear of what the latest news might bring. The situation in our homes, work places and the community is so alarming that it cannot just be left to the police and judicial system to control the high rates of crime. Some people have taken the initiative of going to the streets with placards written on ‘Turn off the Violence’. Such efforts are not the cure at all; they are merely the initial steps. Most people blame the electronic media for the current state but certainly, there are several other factors that influence violent behaviors and attitudes. Among the leading factors include family abuse cycle, poverty, alcohol and drugs, self esteem issues and peer pressure (Dowis 67).
While the government and researches debate and study what causes violence in our communities as they try to come up with the most effective measures to counter them, we cannot just sit back and wait for their definitive response. In reality, there are no definitive responses to this issue. It is our responsibility to take a step and pick a place where we can begin with and get started. The increasing images on violence portrayed in movies, on televisions and in music make violence seem like often appropriate and ordinary means of demonstrating power, resolving conflicts, and releasing emotions. Media violence is a type of violence that we can easily turn off if we try. We can begin by teaching our children some of the appropriate means of dealing with challenges associated with this type of violence. At least that’s not a bad step to start from.
Such steps don’t necessary have to expensive, huge, multi-faceted and complex responses. These are the things that every average person can comfortably do at home; come up with some positive things to do by turning off violent entertainments and when you get angry, settle your issues constructively in a way that will not hurt anyone. Most people will argue that such efforts are too simple to be solutions. Though simple, they are not simplistic; they need to be simple in ways that they will involve every member of the community. As a member of this society, I may be powerless in changing problems of drug abuse, racism or unemployment. I may not be able to change the world but I can change my contribution to changing such issues. I can guide my children on the way to solve issues peacefully, I can be a good example for my children and other children in the community, and I can switch off violent music, movies TV shows and video games. The first step in dealing with violence is by trying to change the little corners at a time. We should teach our children that violence is not just carrying a gun to school but any form in which they hurt other people on purpose using words or actions. This covers physical violence, hate crimes, sexual harassment and racism (Dowis 178).
We can try to inspire the young to picture out this world without any form of violence. Though such an initiative may seem impossible, it is positive for the young people to have such a vision and strive towards it. Lets begin by thinking how life can be with no violence; you don’t have to worry if you forget to lock your car down at the packing lot, how many of your paychecks have to go to police protection, theft insurance, the military and security measures. How many of us have ever been afraid to jog or walk in the morning in our neighborhood after dark or early in the morning? How many women among us have had men in the same room yet are afraid or intimidated because instead of the men providing security, they happen to harass them sexually or be possible rapists? The fact is that violence limits our lives. We must therefore teach our children how much freedom we would all enjoy if we have a society where there is no violence. If we all agree that freedom away from violence is the right thing, then that will make each one of us have the responsibility to behave with maximum respect (Armitage 212).
For most of our children, it will be almost impossible to imagine a society without violence. This is because, for most of them, there homes don’t provide much respite from violence on their streets or family violence. For others, it is the order of the day to watch television programs which give them the impression that everyone has to look after themselves in any way possible. Others have been brought up in such away that they like violence; to them, violence gets them all they want and it is also exciting. The simple measures we can employ can get the society to the level where wont need to have our doors locked at night or every time we leaving our houses, a society where our children don’t tease their friends unmercifully, a society where all the money that we set aside for locks, bombs, and police can be spared and used on food and other basic needs. Our children at times face as and confess how a world without violence will ensure that Dads and Moms would never hurt or scream at each other. We as parents also wish for that time when none of us will ever opt to use drugs or drink alcohol to run away from bad feelings, we will all be seating and enjoying the night news as they will all be about good things. So lets all capture the imaginations of the young people with peace possibilities (Armitage 134).
Everyone should start or join a ‘Turn Off’ committee on violence in the respective communities which we come from. Several Organizers’ Guides have been set up to help members of every community to initiate their own campaigns. These guides are full of advices coming from other people from all states who have already established their local campaigns. We can all contribute to such campaigns with our tax deductible donation that can be used to provide information about the campaigns and disseminate resources across the nation. I urge you all to be part of such campaigns at the same time challenging you to turn off violence in your businesses, community and homes. Thank you all for listening.