What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word violence?
For many years, every time I thought of an answer to that question came to my mind killings, beatings, physical assaults, sexual assaults, fights, among others. Normal and common associations for most people when relate the definition of violence with a specific behavior.
I come from Colombia, a country where such behaviors are the daily bread. A country, which despite being the happiest in the world-and I’m not saying there are not incredible reasons for that-, is so used to living among the violence that almost nothing shocks us, because the skin has made us thick and certain types of violence are not only tolerated but widely practiced and accepted.
Think again, what is violence for you? For me, besides the aforementioned demonstrations, violence is anything that threatens our physical, psychological and emotional integrity, which affects our self-esteem and limits the way we relate to others. Today, this definition is increasingly widespread, but it is still difficult to identify violence when it’s not physical. An example of violence can be any comments, often from our own family, which aim to make us feel responsible for the inadequate (and violent) behavior of others, either by the way we dress, we express ourselves or the places we frequent.
I don’t know about you, but I have heard many times that when a woman is raped could be because she dressed in a provocative way, or if the partner hits her or him was because she or he did something wrong before her/his eyes, or if a child is a victim of bullying is because he can’t defend himself. None of this is normal, none of this is acceptable, nor is the fault of those who are attacked, it is the fault of the attackers and nobody else …or perhaps it’s also the fault of our society, that continues to justify these acts and accepting these behaviors as if they were normal .
Perhaps this sounds too hard and probably is, but recently I was watching a documentary on Netflix -Making Murderer- and just to hear the name of this production, I thought it is absolutely righ, we are the ones that are creating murderers, terrorists, rapists, thieves, swindlers, by accept violence -even minimally- in our environment, to allow our children to grow up surrounded by family quarrels, to celebrate their bad behaviors against others as if they were a victory, and not teach them that we are all different and therein lies the beauty of our world, why not just to accept but to be part of the difference?
This is my reflection and my invitation to you all, in times where the world seems to be losing its sense of civilization, let’s be that Jiminy Cricket that accompanied Pinocchio by showing the right path, even when he was stubborn and made really bad decisions. The world needs more Jiminy Cricket and less provocatives who incite us to hatred and violence.