While watching Assassin’s Creed, I came upon a line of dialogue that I thought was the truest statement that has come out of Hollywood in some time.
“Why the aggression?’
“I am an aggressive person.”
This small piece of writing spoke volumes to me. Perhaps it is my time as a soldier in the Army that found this to be true. Or maybe it is the charred remains of a past soaked in the blood of those lost in a war that had no rules. Either way, it should not be discounted. Throughout the years, I have struggled to maintain control over my aggressive nature. Somedays, I use avoidance to keep myself on an even keel, other days I submit to the aggression. It is a constant battle to retain a semi-peaceful nature.
Aggression kept me alive in Iraq. The thought crossed my mind Thursday, we should be careful at which altar we worship at. The altar of violence is covered in blood of the innocent. An aggressive nature may protect you, but it will cost more than you want to pay more times than not. Are we really surprised by the amount of violence in the world today, when our movies are saturated with it? Video games glorify kill streaks and brutality, music extols the virtue of a life given to sexuality and multiple partners, and our society has placed no value on the most innocent of us all, children. Therefore, it is hypocritical to say that we are shocked at the amount of violence in the world. Perhaps it would be best stated that we are desensitized by the amount of it.
We are influenced by what we see, watch, read and listen too. I know, I sound like one of the televangelists from the 80’s. However, look at it this way: Just like an engine, what you put in your mind, will either make it perform at its peak or will slowly destroy it from the inside.
Violence and aggression are learned behaviors. It is imperative that as parents we instill in our children a respect for life, regardless of the color of their skin, language, or geographical location. What has caused the world to spiral into such a menacing society is a lack of empathy for our fellow man, we no longer place ourselves in other people’s shoes.
Perhaps, if we started trying to understand the struggles of our fellow man, we could stop the mass shootings that plague our society today, or the violence that occurs daily in our inner cities. Maybe if we considered the value of human life, we would stop the genocide of innocent babies upon the altar of irresponsibility. We need to find a way to connect with others, because if we assume there is no value to human life, we will continue the senseless slaughter of each other.
Yes, there is a time and place for violence. If given no choice, it is perfectly acceptable for someone to be violent to protect their children and spouse, their property and themselves. It is not okay to merc someone for their shoes, or as an initiation into a gang. Nor is it acceptable to butcher an innocent baby because you don’t want to be a parent at fifteen. Violence is a tool that is supposed to be used to protect our country and families. It was never intended to deliver people from responsibility or to give a kid “street-cred.” Until we realize that we each have our own struggles and understand that the differences we have are minimal (we are all striving to make ends meet) we will continue to kill each other at alarming rates. Be careful at which altar you worship.