Every day we watch on the news and read online about violence against mankind, or hatred within societies. Oftentimes we sum up this behavior with some sort of evil possession, stupidity, or insanity. Indeed, it’s easy to surmise that unacceptable behaviors are simply symptoms to a much broader malady. It’s human nature to draw these types of conclusions.
From my perspective, extreme behaviors are rarely explainable with something we consider plausible. They are the accumulation of frustrations and helplessness, hopelessness and despair. We have all confronted difficult situations, predicaments that appear to be unresolvable. Personally, I cope with these difficulties by focusing my mind on more positive things in my life to enable me to maintain some level of objectivity. I infer that this mechanism is a product of combined wiring (i.e. genetics) and prior experiences (environment). Since every individual is comprised of individual characteristics, it’s easy to see that these coping mechanisms will likely vary from person to person, either in an unrecognizably subtle way or a more obvious profound way. Ultimately, what does this amount to? When faced with grief, one may feel numb, or extreme sadness, or anger. How these emotions manifest is unknown to everyone, including the first person, until it actually occurs. Therefore, intrinsically, someone who kills, or maims, or even rapes, does so in response to an internal pain that they are coping with by utilizing those skills that they possess. Unfortunately, over the course of history, these designated skills have not always been constructive. As a result, people commit awful, incomprehensible acts as a reaction to an internal pain that they are unable to cope with in another way.
I am not condoning behaviors that incur pain and devastation on others. However, I am articulating my feelings of pity for the complete incapacity to deal with adversity in a constructive way.