Us or Them?

Perhaps it’s naivete on my part, but with the Nice and Orlando tragedies and the Brock Turner fiasco, I can’t wrap my mind and heart around how hard it is for people to contact their love. I want to demonize these violent people, because it makes it easier to make them ÔÇťother”, but then I’m just doing the same thing they are doing, and having an us/them mentality. However, having compassion for these perpetrators of violence also somehow seems inappropriate. How can I have compassion for a killer or a rapist? I wonder at how unhappy and alienated and disenfranchised they must feel to want to callously hurt others. And then how difficult remorse is for them, if they can feel remorse at all. How do we break the us/them mentality when it’s so hard to understand them? I can’t figure it out and my heart can’t comprehend it right now either. I am overwhelmed with all of this.

Here’s the thing: all personality traits exist on a continuum, and we can’t just say that all these people are pure sociopaths. We can’t just say it because we don’t actually know that is true. I’m not convinced that every rapist out there and every shooter has absolutely no conscience. That just seems statistically inaccurate. And if that’s the case, then we can get through to people who are alienated and have low self-esteem and whose shame spiral turns into wild and aggressive anger. Please, please don’t say that they’re mentally ill and leave it at that. Most mentally ill people are NOT violent. And I highly doubt all people who committed acts of violence during World War II would be clinically diagnosable. So, having said that, I invite discussion…

Brain Dead

Check out this TV show– This explores the us/them mentality in politics–brilliant show and hilarious and scary…

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