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MORE THAN ‘WISHFUL THINKING’

Our last video generated a lot of positive feedback. It also prompted one to comment that it is ‘wishful thinking’ to suggest that virtues can solve gun violence in America.

Click play button to watch “Dedicated to Victims of Gun Violence”.

THREE ‘WISHFUL’ THOUGHTS.

If we had three wishes, we would wish for unity and cooperation in the gun control debate, so both sides could work together to address the illegal sales and irresponsible use of firearms.

We wish the mass media would stop sensationalizing gun violence, and stop conditioning young people to see guns as a way to settle a score, as a symbol of power and influence, or as a dramatic, shoot-’em-up ending to a personal legacy.

Most importantly, we wish every parent and teacher in America would teach their children the Virtues from “A” to “Z”, and give them daily virtues acknowledgments to strengthen their resolve to choose love and peace over hatred and violence, so guns won’t be used with murderous intent.

WISHFUL THINKING DOESN’T BRING ABOUT CHANGE. CARING AND COMMITMENT DOES.

The reality is; The two sides of the gun control debate have vastly different perspectives, and they are so rigid in their beliefs and special interests that building constructive consensus on gun control is incredibly difficult.

Media interests are largely driven by ratings and profits. Led by market research, they give their audience what they want, even if it means pandering to humanity’s baser instincts.

An average American child will see 200,000 violent acts and 16,000 murders on TV by age 18.*

Many parents and teachers are so busy and overwhelmed with the demands of daily life they don’t dedicate time to companion their kids—to truly listen to a child’s problems without judgement, to offer positive and constructive guidance that inspires young people to choose virtues when faced with difficult challenges.

We have invested close to 10,000 hours in the past four years developing The “V” Channel because we believe virtues are the key to affecting positive change in an often negative and hostile world. And we are not alone. Thanks to The Virtues Project, there are thousands of men and women around the globe promoting the power of virtues, inspiring young people to make the right choices in life. Sadly, far too many are making the wrong choices.

A ‘RIOT’ OF GUN VIOLENCE.

Illustration by Oliver Munday

Illustration by Oliver Munday

In his article,Thresholds of Violence, in the October 19, 2015 Issue of The New Yorker magazine, Malcolm Gladwell writes, “Since Sandy Hook, there have been more than a hundred and forty school shootings in the United States” and “…the great puzzle is how little school shooters fit any kind of pattern.” Not all of the shooters were traumatized or abused as children. Some even came from loving families.

Gladwell references a famous essay published four decades ago by the Stanford sociologist Mark Granovetter, “…a riot was a social process, in which people did things in combination with those around them. Social processes are driven by our thresholds—which he defined as the number of people who need to be doing some activity before we agree to join them.”

Gladwell finishes his article with, “…the problem is not that there is an endless supply of deeply disturbed young men who are willing to contemplate horrific acts. It’s worse. It’s that young men no longer need to be deeply disturbed to contemplate horrific acts.”

“…young men no longer need to be deeply disturbed to contemplate horrific acts.”

Gladwell finishes his article with, “…the problem is not that there is an endless supply of deeply disturbed young men who are willing to contemplate horrific acts. It’s worse. It’s that young men no longer need to be deeply disturbed to contemplate horrific acts.”

It seems the news coverage of school shootings along with the incessant violence in entertainment and video games has created a ‘social process’ that may be influencing young people to act-out their violent fantasies.

Many school shooters are classic psychopaths. They need professional mental healthcare. But for the relatively normal young men that got caught up in ‘the riot threshold’, the missing piece of their psychological and emotional makeup was the lack of purpose in life and ongoing positive guidance.

THREE VIRTUES CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING.

Call it wishful, but if a parent, teacher, coach, or even a school bus driver, had taken the time to engage the young people responsible for school shootings while they were still impressionable, and had helped them understand and practice three basic virtues, they would be far less likely to carry out the horrific acts that caused so much pain and suffering:

COMPASSIONDeep empathy for the suffering of others. Compassion flows freely from the heart when we let go of judgments and seek to understand. Learn more >

PEACEFULNESSInner calm and tranquility. Giving up the love of power for the power of love. Peacefulness is resolving conflicts in a just and gentle way. Learn more >

ForgivenessGiving others (and ourselves) another chance. Forgiveness means we don’t punish people for what they have done even if they deserve it. Learn more >

Over the next couple of months we will explore actionable ways for parents and teachers to give at-risk kids positive guidance; To inspire them to think about the suffering of others. To experience the power of love. And to give others and themselves another chance.

It won’t be easy. Being a parent or teacher is the toughest job on the planet. Whether they are toddlers throwing a tantrum, teens dealing with peer pressure, or young adults struggling with inner demons, our children face countless challenges while growing up. Through it all, let’s remember that every time we talk about virtues with our kids we are nurturing humanity’s inherent goodness.

More than ‘wishful thinking’, we know goodness will prevail.

— The “V” Channel team

*Source: University of Michigan Health System, Television and Children

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STAY TUNED TO THE “V” CHANNEL.

As we raise additional funding we’ll produce new content and improve our website. Our goal is to build a world-class online destination and social media network offering ‘edutainment’ for viewing at home, in school, and on mobile devices.

Explore some of the content we’ve created so far:

Articles_click here

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THE “V”CHANNEL IS A 501(c)(3) NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION.

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©2015 THE “V” CHANNEL CORPORATION.

Special thanks to The Family Virtues Guide, by Linda Kavelin Popov with Dr. Dan Popov Ph.D., and John Kavelin, and The Virtues Project, a global grassroots initiative to inspire the practice of virtues in everyday life.

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