These days there are so many questions: “Why would someone do something like that?”, “Why would a young man shoot 38 people on a beach in Tunisia?” It is unlikely that these questions will stop as I am sure that the actions will not. And as usual our minds turn to finding some answer that ensures us that they are really bad, bad guys and naturally if they lived like us then everything would be OK again. This is a very unlikely scenario, in fact, I would eat my hat if we ever got back to the old normal – nor would I want to.
Why does anyone do what they do? The answer is because of how they feel. Only by looking at this level will we ever find any meaningful answers. How did the people on the beach feel? How did the survivors feel about losing their loved ones? That is how the gunman felt that he did what he did. How the victim feels after an event is how the victimiser was feeling that they did what they did.
There are a lot of people out there who feel it is unfair, or that they are unheard, or in such poverty, such pain, or feeling so powerless that they would believe such an action was OK. For me to act with such disregard and chilling dissociation would come from a deep sense of not belonging, not feeling part of, not included. When we think of it there are so many within our own country who, deep down, feel the same way. And there are so many within our own societies who have spectacular levels of dissociation, a total inability to empathise and therefore relate.
We cannot close our minds to the suffering of the people around us and then be surprised when they act with such violence. However a couple of things do spring to my mind and the first is video games. I have never got my act together enough to play them and they certainly do seem to require some skills however I have seen the images of them in advertisements and trailers and they seem very similar to the news pictures I see on my TV. Another question: do video games affect the players? Or are video games a reflection of the world we have created?
On the surface it appears as if we have the high moral ground around all of this but we do need to have the courage to re-examine our part, if we are willing to accept that we have created this situation. It appears the main negative emotions are powerlessness and a feeling of not belonging. On the surface we seem to take care of our communities, we embrace everyone who lives in our country but the evidence points in a contrary direction. Do we really connect with others, do we reach out? Do we really listen or do we try and manage the situation?
It seems this corporate way of thinking, when we manage others, we manage their expectations we manage their lives, is everywhere. And yet when I work with people who manage their partners, manage their children, all I see is problems, misunderstandings and resentment. Managing people is our way of keeping everything just that safe distance away but it also makes us blind to what is really going on in the minds of the people around us. I believe what we are being asked to do is to give up our defences and to be willing to join with all those around us, to engage and to begin to work our way out of the hell many of us are in together. Because in the final essay no matter what is happening it is a call for love, for sharing and for compassion.
Yeah and those Greeks; now there is a bunch that needs some managing!!!