I remember once reading a very good article from a well respected combatives instructor from the UK. He was making the point that experienced criminals often use distraction to enable them to very effectively and violently assault their chosen victim. He was making the point that we thus need to train ourselves to avoid falling prey to such distraction, and so increase our chances of survivability.
What can we do to address violence in our society and in our personal lives? That’s a question at the root of most of my exploration. That’s a concern which contributes to this brief article. There’s much which distracts us from dealing effectively with this.
See this article. Gustavo Arellano does an admirable job at highlighting what is currently happening with Donald Trump, and his vitriolic spewing, with regard to Muslims. As that article describes, this is actually not that new. Arellano depicts clearly that Trump is manifesting what has manifested many times before, with regard to other ethnic groups. Trump is simply the newest manifestation, from the American social consciousness – through his mouth – of hatred and, well, ignorance too. The tide may rise and fall, but the water never changes.
My issue with this is not about getting all facebooky, creating new captioned pics of Trump and Hitler, and whipping up public emotion. Indeed, THAT is a major problem itself, that is, public emotion being used like clay – by social pottery makers – to mold opinion, regardless of which side of the fence you choose.
Trump is distracting us from reasonable, sane decision-making, and taking reasonable, sane actions to address violence in our society. As long as we get pulled this way, then that way, by the newest shiny object (read: Trump rhetoric), we fail to keep our eye on what needs to be done to effectively address violence. Distraction slows us from making sound tactical decisions and actions in our personal, social, and global lives. Trump is such a distraction.
Let’s get real folks. If we listen to everyone who screams, particularly those who make appeals to the emotions, we end up allocating resources in a particular direction. Resources (e.g., money) are not limitless. Communities have only so much. Individuals have only so much. We must be diligent and careful in how we use our attention and our resources. Misuse the former, and the latter gets wasted.
Gavin de Becker tells us: “The solution to violence in America is the acceptance of reality.”
Part of “acceptance of reality” (indeed the root of it) is coming to terms with our own personal and social consciousness, and its shadow. We will come to terms with it, or it will continue to haunt – and rule – us, individually, as people, and collectively, as a society.
The time we spend listening to ridiculosity is time wasted. In terms of the mitigation of violence, time = lives.
Let’s increase our chances of survivability by not falling prey to the distractions of bombastic political rants, when we should be seeking those who seek to harm us (and by us, we mean all of us).