Life Success Strategies – Are We Addicted to Violence?

Oct 8 07:48 2008 Ken Donaldson Print This Article

Why?  Many people ask "Why" in the aftermath of any tragedy. An appropriate question...but, unfortunately, there are no very good answers. There are, however, are few considerations for all of us to examine.

We have become a violent culture and this violence has occurred very subtly. Via movies and TV shows,Guest Posting through the internet, computer and videogames, and of course through the media's "live" coverage of wars. I don't believe a day goes by in our culture without a major emphasis on violence.

Does this explain why a tragedy happens? No, not entirely, but if we do not do change our values about violence we will likely see more and more of these occurrences, as we have already witnessed too many similar scenarios.

What is this attraction we have with violence? Why do we turn to it so easily and readily? And why have we become so numb to it?

I have only one answer: We use it as a way to escape. Yes, as odd as it sounds, we use violence as a coping mechanism for life.

When you watch intensely violent scenes there are a number of chemical reactions that occur in your body. These neurotransmitter and hormonal reactions inside you all mix together to create an internal "cocktail" that actually gets you high very similar to the ways drugs would get someone high.

The difference, however, is that you never ingested anything and because all this violence is so common place, you may think of it as being "normal" and therefore not even notice that you shifted your mood. Most people are not even aware that subjecting themselves to violence is actually creating an altered state of consciousness.

Simply put, subjecting ourselves to violence changes the way we feel and this change allows us to escape from life temporarily. This is NO different than what a drug addict does. ALL addiction is driven by the desire to NOT feel.

As weird and far-out as it may sound, we are becoming addicted to violence.

What is even more alarming is that so many young children have so much access to all this violence. What are we telling our children about violence and life? What are we teaching them about coping with life and feelings? What seeds are we planting for future generations?

I have family in Sweden and when I have been there I have noticed they have far less violence on their television shows. Interestingly enough they also have amazingly low murder and assault rates. I have to believe there is some correlation there.

Again, I am not saying that this explains what happens when tragedies occur, but I am saying we need to wake up and adjust our values around violence. If we do not make changes and we allow all this violence to continue to grow as part of our cultural "pastime" we will surely reap some very negative consequences in the future.

This all starts with you and me.

• Will you refuse to watch TV shows that are violent?

• Will you contact the sponsors of these shows and boycott their products if they continue to sponsor violence?

• Will you refuse to purchase video games that are violent?

• Will you refuse to go to movies which have violence as their primary theme?

• Will you request that all the major networks and newspapers decrease the amount of emphasis put on violence?

If you don't do this, who will?

• Will you instead surround yourself with games, shows and media which embrace life and stimulates thinking and creativity?

• Will you practice mediation and other "peaceful" activities to calm yourself?

• Will you commit to be more in touch with how you feel so you will be less likely to go on "auto-pilot" and disconnect from your feelings unconsciously?

The choice is ours to make...what will you choose?

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Ken Donaldson
Ken Donaldson

Ken Donaldson has been offering counseling, coaching, and educational programs since 1987. His programs are focused on empowering people to have more successful lives, businesses and relationships. Ken is the author of Marry YourSelf First! Saying "I DO" to a Life of Passion, Power and Purpose. Claim your FREE Relationship Success Special Report at

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