Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Violence

If you are not under any threat of any kind and your life is at not risk and the only way you can defend yourself is by participating in some sort of violence, then I do not tolerate it. At all. Ever.

 Now I go to a relatively middle class grammar school where the only violence that usually occurs are playground scraps, but recently an incident happened where almost the entire year were left in shock and disgust. A group of young men in their late teens arrived behind the leisure centre which is situated behind my school intending to beat up a boy aged 14 as some sort of revenge for a female friend attending my school. The young boy was attacks by one of the men and hit a number of times causing a great deal of damage to the boy's face before running off back down the hill. A number of other students of the same age witnessed the account and were dumbfounded as the innocent children that they were, desperately trying to help their friend as he bled heavily from the nose.

 The boy was then taken to the school matron, cleaned up and reassured as no serious damage had been done. Over the last hour left of the school day a number of pupils were asked to write statements on the event as the rest of us, shaken by the violence, chatted continuously until the last period ended.

 I understand that this violence was fairly minimal to the amount that is committed on a daily basis in wars and gangs and abuse of every kind but it opened our sheltered eyes up to see what humans can do to their own species. As teens barely out of childhood we struggled to comprehend why anyone could even suggest doing such a thing as what had been done. The mental ability to physically use one's body to seriously hurt another was an alien concept for us. It was unlike a playful scrap in the schoolyard or a puppy like fight with a sibling it was real and forceful and completely intent on sincerely causing another person pain. It was no longer the baddie getting what he deserved in a film but a real life demonstration of what we as humans are entirely capable of and subject to in our lives.

 I believe I am about to contradict myself here when I say that I conjecture that violence is an important part of one's life and that nature is bound to take its course. However, my reasoning behind this is that where I completely oppose to hatred behind violence and pointless violence in media such as movies put in for entertainment purposes only I personally believe that primarily as a child exploring violence through play and experimenting how far hitting your sibling is stretching the rules can actually be justified. I think that investigating violence as an infant helps you to understand it in later life.

 In most circumstances I completely object to the existence of the death penalty as I believe that the state is becoming equally as evil as the criminal and being a hypocrite by ending someone's life in a deliberately cruel way. Whilst some might say it's an eye for an eye, a statement I sort of relate to, I am of the opinion that life imprisonment for murder or rape is a far better punishment than an easy path to death and a release from the inevitable guilt.

 Violence of the cruel kind is completely intolerable and having witnessed an example of this, I've realised that I am definitely behind this view. I wouldn't say that I was a pacifist as such but I would put myself in that category if asked, and I suggest, if you have any sense that you do too.