On this day of Solstice, when we celebrate light returning to our world, I send out a wish. I wish for a societal shift toward rejecting violence and embracing, instead, kindness and respect and love.
I started here in my house by deciding NOT to finish watching a TV series. The other night Hubby and I sat mute as a fictional FBI agent pulled out a gun, took a prisoner out of his SUV, pushed him up against the vehicle, and shot him in the neck and body five or six times. The prisoner was unarmed and cooperative. Blood splattered, and I asked myself, Why would I want to watch this? How does this enhance my life? What message is this sending to kids who are watching it?
I don’t care if it is “make believe” or “just a story.” Stories are a wrapping in which we package our values and give them, like a gift, to the world. Perhaps it is time we think about those values and begin to question whether or not our music, games, movies, television, books, and art represent the values our higher selves hold dear.
I challenge each of you to think about your values as we enjoy the holiday season. What is most important to you? Family, spirituality, education, earnings, possessions, art, beauty, environment, health, love? What values lift you up? What values lift up an entire community?
When it is time to chose a movie, a music album, a video game, an activity, ask yourself which of your choices best reinforces your values. Reject the ones that do not. Embrace those that do. In this way we can signal our values to our entertainers, to our creatives, and most important, to our children.
In the coming year, I will strive to signal that I do not value violence. I do not think it is heroic or admirable or even brave, only justifiable for self-protection as a last resort.
Pre-emptive violence? Nuh-uh. Not anymore. It is time for a new way of thinking.
I believe it is time for our society to have this conversation about values, starting with an internal dialogue and expanding outward to family, community, state, country, and the world. What do you think?