It’s About Power & Control

I am struck by something today: the role of power and control for people who use violence to express themselves. This morning there was yet another school shooting; this time near Reno, Nevada. There were two killed and several reported injured. It makes me angry and sad for our communities.

Domestic Violence & Corporal Punishment
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month – and domestic violence is about power and control. One person uses emotional and physical violence to establish and maintain power and control over another person. What is terrifying about this is the use of the threat (and use) of harm upon people who trust or depend on you to be a positive part of their lives. Whether that person is a wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, or child.

The same can be said about how we view corporal punishment for kids. Spanking children is still acceptable today. Louis CK, often a source of calling a spade a spade, takes this issue on:

“I really think it’s crazy that we hit our kids. Here’s the crazy part about it; kids are the only people in the world that you’re allowed to hit. Do you realize that? They’re the most vulnerable and the most destroyed by being hit but it’s totally OK to hit them. And they’re the only ones! if you hit a dog they will put you in jail for that sh*t. You can’t hit a person unless you can prove that they were trying to kill you. But a little tiny person with a head this big who trusts you implicitly: ‘F**k ‘em, Who gives a sh*t!’. People want you to hit your kid. If your kid is making noise: ‘Hit him! Hit ‘em!’”

Those who use corporal punishment are also demonstrating their power or control (or frustration over their lack of) over the child.

Mass Shootings & Power and Control
Today it occurred to me that people who choose to express their anger at the world by shooting at people – most of whom have nothing to do with the shooters’ grievances – are trying to maintain control over their feeling of being powerless to change their situation.

When I hear of gunmen choosing schools as the site of for violence, I feel nothing but sick pity. I cannot imagine feeling so small that to shoot at children makes anyone feel better about the pain they in. This is unconceivable to me.

I wish those who felt mass shootings would get the world to review their perceived wrongs understood that our response usually is along the lines of:

No one can take your grievances seriously when you chose to injure and kill innocent people. You become a footnote in history of someone small and ill-equipped to handle the most simple of the rules of living in a civil society. You become an example of our greatest of failure. 

Real Power comes from critical thinking and finding solutions that make living better for you and your community. Real Power is harnessed by sharing your experiences and the lessons you have learned with others. 

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