Monday, January 10, 2011

A Return of Honor

So, I'm very aware I've been away. Life happens and I just haven't had the energy to put up stuff. Combined with a distinct lack of knowing what I should write about contributed. Still, I figured I'd throw my two cents in on something that happened lately.

A couple days ago, a congresswoman of Arizona was shot, along with about twelve fellow victims that survived and about six which did not. No doubt a political motive will be found, even if I haven't heard of it yet, and within a few short hours of the occurrence already the killer and would be assassin was being labeled as insane. I'm not here to say he wasn't.

The reason for my post is due to another post on Pantheon, a religious blog. Namely, a pagan's response to the attack. And it got me thinking.

Pagan and Heathen societies of old didn't fear violence. It was very much a part of normal society, and regulated by rules and customs. But here in modern society, we have almost the opposite. Sure, we have violent video games and sports, but gone are the days when one could challenge another to a duel or holmgang.

Now, it is known that most people don't resort to violence to solve their problems unless they feel it is their only option, at least in Western societies. Here in America, most people will write letters, or try and see the person they feel has wronged them. Yet, our leaders are often farther and farther away. It is easy to see the City Council in comparison to seeing one's senator. Try and get an audience with the president, and unless you're out of luck unless you are an admired figure, political powerhouse, or something along those lines. Joe of the street is not gonna get in to talk politics with the president, even at a town hall. This distance often leaves people feeling distant from their leaders, and without a voice. Our election system is great, but if you're on the losing side, you still get ignored. More and more people feel their votes don't count.

And when you feel you have no voice, well, that's often the time you most want to be heard.

The key problem to me is not that this young man shot so many people. It is a problem, yes, and the loss of life is to be mourned. Arguably, it is because this young man may have felt he had no voice. Such is a tragedy, especially if it led to what happened. I wonder, what would have happened had this young man been given an option, even one of violence like he brought. At least, if he had something like a duel to challenge the congresswoman too, it is possible that she would be no worse off, and near twenty people would not have been injured or killed.

We will never eliminate the violence in this world, but perhaps it is time we look at a way to guide that violence so that the innocent do not die, and that once again violence is given a path of honor

1 comment:

  1. I don't know about dualing per se, but I'd have to agree with you. bureaucratic proceedings don't give us power over ourselves. Courage nowadays seems to consist often in withstanding hardships rather than in confronting them. TV depicts violence for the sake of violence everyday. Negotiations don't work if the most important things to discuss are still unstatedly forced into silence. A real sense of and system for honor is absent in this country. There used to be times when people dealt with each other directly, where do we direct this need now?
    MiseDanu (aka Anna here)