It is difficult to comprehend the amount of violence in our country. Not just the weekly horrors. The shooting of a man in a theater for "texting" and the aide to the New Jersey governor who thought it was OK for her and her cronies to stop the traffic on the George Washington Bridge reflect an entitlement to be aggressive if someone disagreed or did not do their bidding.
We have innocent children being slaughtered in schools; we have people acting out their rage on the roads and in their families and in the political arena. We have all seen bumper stickers proclaiming a self-righteous, blaming point of view.
If we were able to look below this rage epidemic, I imagine we would find all sorts of pain: despair, hopelessness, narcissism, a tragic personal history, PTSD, a sense of entitlement, a fear of change and of those different than ourselves, all of which can fuel anger.
I have witnessed in myself a knee-jerk reaction to these unthinkable events. The desire to point a finger, to give a reason, a reason that usually reflects my own point of view. But I am not sure if that is what the first response should be.
What would happen instead if we stopped and allowed our feelings of despair and hopelessness to be felt before it hardened into our own rage, and a subsequent polarized way at looking at this mess.
What if we talked to each and, more importantly, listened to each other. We all can identify with feeling hopeless. And from there, as a starting point, we might begin to look at and get curious about what the underlying "dis-ease" is that is creating such violent symptoms in our country.
Our children are watching.