“Violence is what happens when we don’t know what to do with our suffering.” Parker Palmer

Sometimes when we read the truth it is so obvious that we cannot believe we didn’t seen the connection before. This was my response to this quote.

Of course. Of course.

Sure there are a small number of people who are sociopaths and psychopaths. Where violence is expressed without any connection to emotion or humanity at all.

But for the most part, violence is a cry for help.

If we approached acts of violence from this perspective…that the perpetrator was suffering without knowing how to ease their own suffering, would our response be different? Would we bring greater compassion? Would we look to source, rather than symptom? Would we have so many people incarcerated in prisons? Would we be intent on punishment?

It is an act of laziness to throw people away because of their violence, without seeking to understand the totality of circumstance that got them to enact violence.

Photo credit: sparkieg via Compfight


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