Just like a great many others I am anxiously awaiting any news that will bring light on the motive from the surviving Boston bomber, 19 year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. I suppose we just want to hear the reason why anyone would do such a heinous thing, even though we know there is no reason that could make it right or justified. I would suggest that it is a human condition to attempt to rationalize such acts, and we await the information in some hope that his story might bring light on such a dark and seemingly uncontrollable aspect of our lives.
I recently was reading some of the statistics from a book out on violence. It’s called, The Better Angels of our Nature, and was written by Harvard professor, psychologist and cognitive neuro-scientist, Steven Pinker. In it he informs the world that according to his studies a person is at least 35 times less likely to die from violence today than at any other time previous in our history. In fact he states that this is the most peaceful time in the history of our world. He credits several world phenomena for this effect not the least of which is a swing away from national violence towards a mutual codependency. I certainly am not doing his book justice here and I suggest that you read it for yourself. I take heart in knowing that there is at least some indication that violence is on the decline and it excites me that we finally, albeit slowly, we appear to be understanding just how ineffective and archaic the use of violence is. However, I also find it somewhat oxymoronic to observe what we all have been experiencing recently in the area of individual acts of mass violence even as we, presumably, shift from the use of violence and recognize how ineffective a reaction it has been both individually and nationally in the past. Sadly there have been hundreds of acts of individual mass violence recorded in the US in the last 15 years, including, Newtown, Aurora, Boston and several more this year alone. Now these statistics make me wonder; while it has been written that the master teacher Jesus told us that “The poor in spirit will always be with us.” Why are there so many of these poor spirits with us today and why are they so active? Then I recalled what Mahatma Ghandi wrote in 1925 in the newspaper, Young India. Titled, The 7 Social Sins or the 7 Blunders of the World.
“The root of all violence; Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice, Politics without principle.”