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WISHFUL THINKING?

Our short video dedicated to victims of gun violence received a lot of positive comments. It also received a comment that said it is ‘wishful thinking’ to suggest virtues can solve the problem of gun violence in America, as if virtues were a ‘magic pill’.

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

WISHING FOR SOLUTIONS

All of us at The “V” Channel wish there were a magic pill. Imagine a “V” vitamin we could give our kids, providing them with 100% daily requirements of Virtues from “A” to “Z”, to help them rise above the negative temptations and influences in life, empowering them to grow up to become adults who make responsible and ethical choices.

We also wish both side of the gun control debate would find common ground to come up with a solution to the illegal sales and irresponsible use of firearms.

And we wish the mass media would stop sensationalizing gun violence, conditioning young people to view guns as a quick solution to problems, or a way of exerting force to get their way, or to think killing is exciting and funny.

If only we could achieve our aims simply by wishing for them, life would be very easy.

WISHING DOESN’T BRING ABOUT CHANGE

It takes more than wishful thinking to bring about change. That’s why the “V” Crew have put in more than 5,000 hours over the past four years developing The “V” Channel. We believe virtues are the key to affecting positive change in an often negative and hostile world. 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, there are far too many making the wrong choices. Gun violence statistics are shocking: Every day in the U.S., an average of 30 people are murdered.

Illustration by Oliver Munday

Illustration by Oliver Munday

I recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s article, Thresholds of Violence in The New Yorker magazine. He 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 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.”

It seems to me that the incessant media coverage of school shootings, along with the violence in entertainment and video games has created a ‘social process’ that is influencing young people to act-out their violent fantasies. Many of the school shooters were classic psychopaths. They needed 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 ongoing positive guidance.

THREE VIRTUES CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING

Call it wishful, but I think if a parent, teacher, coach, or even a school bus driver, had taken the time to engage the young men while they were still impressionable, and had helped them understand and practice just three basic virtues, they would not have carried 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. 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 >

Being a parent or teacher is the toughest job on the planet. Our children face countless challenges while growing up. Whether they are toddlers throwing a tantrum, teens dealing with peer pressure, or young adults struggling with their inner demons… let’s remember, every time we talk about virtues with our kids we are nurturing their inherent goodness. And goodness always prevails.

Wishful thinking? Let us know what you think. Email us at info@theVchannel.com.

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