Violence is in. Humility, turning the other cheek, and the soft-spoken word… are as out of date as the dinosaur.
I have seen enough to convince me of this.
Violence takes many forms. It could be the dirty look we give someone who jostles us unwittingly in a queue, it could be inherent in the act of pushing one’s way through a door which is thronged with people waiting to go through.
Of course road rage is violence one can see. Like last week, I was witness on the Elphinstone bridge in Parel, to a man who got out of his little black, shiny car that had just been touched by a tempo driver, opening the door of the tempo and giving the driver a thrashing.
The driver, who was obviously in the wrong and also taken by surprise just sat there, almost unresisting. But surely, I thought, this was no way for an educated person to behave.
I would not have thought anymore of it, but for the fact that I was almost behind the black car as we crawled up the bridge, the tempo had stayed a safe distance behind.
I noticed as we started downwards, a cyclist stopping just short of the car, but not quite. His tyre touched the car’s fender.
The driver looked out at the cyclist, and then drove so slowly down the bridge that the poor man behind him on two wheels had to fight to keep his balance. It was as if he was daring him to bump into him again.I was glad he did not try to go ahead of the car; the man would surely have knocked him down in is his still seething state.
I wondered what his family at home would face, of that left over wrath.
Violence: we see it in cinema, on television, we see it on the printed page. Dumping unborn feoteuses into a garbage bin is an act of violence, in which perhaps the medical institituion as well as the family of the might-have-been child participated.
In many homes, mothers teach their children to slap back if someone slaps them, and while violence on the cartoon network may or may not be translated as real anger into young minds, much of what happens in films could well be seen as behaviour that can be emulated.
Violence of a psychological nature in soaps is so common that most viewers have begun to take it as granted and permissible in daily behaviour with their near ones; and though beating a child is now frowned upon, violence against women and children is actually on the rise, as both try to find their individual identities.
But the most worrying of all this is the fact that we are violent with ourselves. We live in a constant state of anger, against everything around us; the need to be better, bigger, more successful, richer, happier, is a killing need.
It turns itself into an insidious stress that seeps into our conciousness and wraps itself round the reasoning mind.
And makes us victims of a rage dangerous in its effect on our wellbeing.