When faced with violence, it is difficult, in the least, to remember that 'violence is NOT the answer'! Though it may seem that violence is the best answer to violence, we know from experience that violence usually begets more violence; the history of violence in this nation alone, not to mention Europe, the Middle East & the rest of the known world bears manifold witness to this deplorable fact. Nation retaliates against nation, group against group & so on & so forth; 'where it will stop, no one knows'. Then there's the preemptive strike, a pre-retaliation of sorts; 'lets bomb them first, because we're pretty sure they plan to bomb us'...........................
There can be no doubt that evil is an everyday occurrence; the violence that goes almost unchecked in many parts of the world IS most definitely deplorable, but it is an Ancient Evil! The History of Violence around the world has its beginnings from the very genesis of the nations. Those who founded the particular nations did so, for the most part, on the blood, sweat & tears of those involved. Those who bled & died were often the victims of some type of some type of genocide, particularly on the Dark Continent lately, but in Europe as well & even here in the good ole U.S. of A.!
Violence seems unavoidable; if our own life, liberty or property ( or that of loved ones ) is threatened it is natural to immediately react with more violence. Not only is it a natural reaction, it often seems like the only sane & logical course of action! When faced with such a situation though, there are a number of facts we need to consider; are we doing right in meeting violence with violence? Though violence is not the answer, neither is it necessarily a bad thing. In some cases, violence must be employed in order to get the job done & while it is NOT true that 'a little violence never hurt anyone', it IS true that some people need to be hurt ( a little ) for their own good. A case in point here would be if someone were headed straight for a cliff & someone else tackled him, maybe breaking an arm or leg, but saving him from almost certain death at the bottom of the precipice!
Although violence is not the answer, sometimes it's a good thing, not in a reactive sense, but in an active sense! For the greater good, sometimes it's necessary to violate the rules, right? Sounds almost like 'two wrongs make a right', huh? Well, no, that's not right; it's never right to do wrong in order to do right! In order to make the necessary changes in one's life, though, one must suffer violence. Not ALL violence, then, is wrong or bad. Though it usually hurts for the moment, especially to the one undergoing the change, the violence suffered, whether it's a broken arm or a bloody nose, will usually have the desired effect. This is not always the case, however, some people never learn, it seems, but for the most part, when a person realizes the pain they might have suffered, he or she takes the lesson & makes the necessary adjustments!
Facing evil is a frightening proposition! If we face it with, not merely the greater, but the greatest good in mind, it doesn't seem so insurmountable & reacting with more violence seems less & less of an option. As we have all borne witness to, 'violence begets more violence'; it's a vicious circle! Once someone employs violence ( in a wrong way ), it's hard to stop it unless & until someone comes along who is willing to live & let live, someone who has taken note of where it will lead if they respond with more violence!
'Live & let live'; now there's a concept! Imagine what the world would look like now if more people employed this mantra! I can only imagine how difficult it would be, in the face of a Hitler or a Pol Pot, to 'turn the other cheek', so to speak, but if we had elected ( I say 'we' in a corporate sense, as the Apostle Paul used 'I' in Romans 5-7 ) to do things differently in the beginning, how much better would this world be to live in? Would people still suffer violence? To be sure; there will always be the Hitlers & the Pol Pots, but even then, when faced with the correct actions, they might turn out to be not so bad after all!
Charles Haddon Shank