I observe human opinions are hyped in all forms of media and are tearing our families and society apart as demonstrated by the recent violent clashes with law enforcement and communities in Baton Rouge, Minnesota, and Dallas. This is a response from my mother heart.
One of the truths affirmed to me from my experience, fieldwork and research on parenting into the era of the internet and mobile connectivity is that my opinion is just that: it belongs to me and it represents my limited human understanding of a situation or a circumstance at a certain time or season in life – and it usually harbors a fearful thought or a desire to be in control or to manipulate. While my wisdom, on the other hand, is the pursuit of the eternal truth about my humanity that transcends religious dogma. These are the thoughts that bring about peace and empower others. The primary example is my belief that liberty already belongs to the soul, and it must be defended and it starts with what you choose to believe about the origin of your personal power. Does it belong to the parent? The teacher? bully? The terrorist? The government? Or does the spirit of power and love and sound mind already exist inside you? It is like saying to your child, “You already have an ‘A’, it can never be taken; and you can and must defend it.” This is the mustard seed of faith that declares every human being has God-given intelligent life and free will – and this is power over your own thoughts and actions that can never be taken, but is so easily surrendered to the bully, the device or the drug.
The recent events in Dallas, Baton Rouge and Minnesota of violent clashes between law enforcement, individuals and communities who are struggling in their pursuit of happiness, feature this universal struggle of our humanity. As individuals and communities we can easily become convinced that the concentrations of power in the world represented as institutions and people with more money, have all the control.
“The solution is to end the undervaluing of lives, both black and blue.” Washington Post
On this and many other fronts (such as family life, education, commerce), it appears to me that our society has moved far, far away from a forgiveness and grace mentality that is reflected in the original design of the criminal justice system. The presumption of innocence today is trumped by videos that convince us to fear one another rather than really listen to and relate to one another – especially when we are struggling with abuses of power as individuals and communities.
I agree with my friend Heather Murdock, who on her Facebook page is calling out the media for making things worse – as their motive is to attract more viewers by giving the violent killings play in ways which feeds the fear emotions of everyone involved, and invites the rest of the world to carp and make judgments that are not necessarily in the interest of bringing about open communication about the issues to promote healing and peace. It is true that anyone experiencing persecution in our society must be acknowledged with the hope of atonement and reform, for their own experiences which are real. But in the stream of media reports and talking heads, there is no dialogue that validates the harm individuals and their families are experiencing. There is simply unchecked rage that will not stop until we embrace it an own it as a society.
So, I understand hate as a human emotion rooted in opinions which are always of limited understanding and contain hostile thoughts and desires to take control, condemn and punish- and it is a vicious cycle that reinforces itself in a culture of crime and punishment. I believe we have the capacity as a people to hold one another accountable for offenses, with a heart full of mercy and hope for a better future. In this regard I view the purpose of the law as instructive to help form a society that defends individual rights to life, liberty and property, and that said, the law is not perfect nor perfectly enforced. The seminal question is do we believe that we the people can own and learn from our own abuses and offenses in the social systems we create, and choose to change our perspective and take corrective action? If we do not believe that we can learn how to become better versions of ourselves as spouses, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, friends, teachers, bosses, political leaders and law enforcement officials, then our society will continue to become defined by hate-inspired, violent and controlling thought leadership that results in tyranny and anarchy.
I pray that we the people of these United States hold ourselves accountable with hearts full of mercy and hope. Reform is needed at all levels of our culture to be better prepared to respond to hate rhetoric– from within our own families, communities and local institutions. The answers will not come from Washington D.C. This reform can only come from the will of the people. Let us hold the standard of justice for all in the pursuit of truth – not human opinions hyped in media. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
About: We are a non-profit education center founded in Roseville, CA to strengthen the parent-child bond in a hyper-connected world. Our mission is to restore families with the mustard seed of faith that declares liberty already belongs to the soul because one God, the Creator of all humanity, grants every human being intelligence and free will to choose what to believe, and that is power that can never be taken, but is easily surrendered to the bully, the drug or the device. To that end, ten percent of all proceeds are donated to prison ministries. Your donations are greatly appreciated. (Donations are payable to Banana Moments Foundation).
Joanna Jullien is an educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber-powered world. Trained in behavioral science at U.C. Berkeley, she is a mother of two grown sons, an author of books on parenting, growing up and family life in the network culture, and produces the Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com.
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