We Need To Stop Accepting Violence As Normal
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Politics and Activism

We Need To Stop Accepting Violence As Normal

Don't desensitize yourself to violence.

We Need To Stop Accepting Violence As Normal
D. Myles Cullen // Wikimedia Commons

Recently, my roommate told me about a conversation she had with a friend after hearing about a mass shooting at a school. She was taken aback, wowed that our world had come to yet another instance of mass murder robbing innocent people of their lives. Her friend at the time responded confused by my roommate's reaction. She said that things like mass shootings happened all the time and that she didn’t understand exactly why my friend was upset.

How has our world come to this?

Think about the last time you saw something on the news that included murder, shootings, bomb threats, or something of the like. How did you react? Were you saddened to hear such news? Did it make you shed a tear or two or make you question how you could help?

Or did you shrug it off and move on with your life?

Desensitization often comes naturally when we are exposed to certain images, stories, or words that would normally trigger some sort of reaction on a recurring basis. Sometimes people who work in trauma centers in hospitals, as First Responders, or as Officers desensitize themselves to gore and blood in order to do their jobs quickly and efficiently. Others who may want to be able to watch horror films without flinching or getting sick will desensitize themselves from basic gore.

Instead, many people in society have desensitized themselves from violence that we should be appalled by. We shouldn’t be shrugging off school shootings. We shouldn’t turn our heads away from rising homicide rates. We shouldn’t be pretending that this is normal.

Sure, death is a part of life. But when this death comes at the price tag of people taken far before their time, we shouldn’t pretend that something as heinous as mass murder and reckless violence is a part of life.

How bad does the world have to get before we realize that change is needed?

As much as I love watching the news to keep up with current events, I hate to watch stories about more shootings and more people being robbed of their full potentials. I hate turning on the news to hear that another mass shooting has taken more innocent lives and permanently affected countless others. I hate seeing that it takes over 160 women to testify against a sexual predator before someone finally listens.

I see these stories, and I can’t hold back my tears. Sometimes, I sob wondering how people can be driven to such horribly violent acts. I hurt for those who have lost those closest to them: a child losing a parent, a parent losing a child, a child losing a sibling, a person losing a partner, and friend caught in the line of fire.

My heart breaks for these people because until you’ve had someone taken from you far before their time, you can’t begin to understand just what it feels like to have that life robbed of you.

When you desensitize yourself from violent behavior, you’re accepting that it is normal and expected. That it doesn’t necessarily deserve our attention because life goes on. When you desensitize yourself, you are becoming part of the problem. You feed into the idea that we should anticipate children dying in their math classes, subway station bombings, and the brutal murders of movie and concert goers.

In a world where it seems as if we are pushed to be strong and empowered, people try to trample their emotions. God forbid that we show that we are all vulnerable to some extent. But when you see these stories on the news, don’t shrug it off. Let your emotions get the best of you. Why?

Because emotions drive passion, and passion spearheads change.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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