by Nigel Daring
There has been in recent years a spate of gun violence at the hands of mentally-ill individuals. Public schools, cinemas, and malls where children and adults congregate disarmed have been targets of this type of aggression. In a sense we’ve all been victimized by it. It is profoundly disturbing to think that any human being can kill others who’ve done him no personal harm. It also sparks fear because the places affected are those where we and our children frequent.
Discussions have lobbed between gun control and the need to properly identify and treat mental illness. But a larger one has been ignored, which we raise with this rhetorical question: what kind of society is it that keeps producing these psychopaths?
We’ll provide a discussion here, but we leave it to society in general to introspectively ponder this issue. Before we delve into it, we must come to understand happiness because we’ll always find that those committing these unconscionable gun-related acts are unhappy. We’ll also find that there’ve been widespread misconceptions about happiness. Trends and well-intentioned movements have come to undermine it. We state here that happiness is fundamentally spiritual. Man’s spirit is comforted by love and contentment with self. Unhappiness results where these are missing.
Children need to be in supportive households that approve their self-worth and encourage their natural expression. Parents and guardians have to be constantly present to provide them love and attention. The mother-child bond is most critical to emotional stability, but that does not negate or minimize the role of fathers. A network of family members must also be present to bolster the part parents play. Local community and wider society must also support the sanctity of the household. Failure occurs when a number of the backers of a child’s emotional balance are either absent or contribute negatively.
There’s been a feminist movement to remove mothers from the home and into the workplace. There’s an unfortunate assumption and consequence of this well-intentioned effort. The assumption is that a mother’s work isn’t equal to other kinds of professions. Feminists have thus subjected themselves to a misguided chauvinistic notion. A mother’s work is the most important work in the world; it’s her excellence that assures the stable children who become the happy adults that form a properly functional society. The movement shouldn’t have been to get mothers away from the home as much as it should’ve been to have their job recognized and respected appropriately. The consequence when it’s not done right or when the mother is absent is an emotionally-distraught individual. When we have great numbers of mothers migrating to the workplace, we’ll also have great numbers of unbalanced children. They are the ones who can potentially create havoc in society.
We recognize, however, an economy that pulls many mothers away from their children. They have to work to support the household. This is where employers must be considerate in their practices and the government must step in to help. The specific modes of assistance are many. We’ll leave those discussions and specifications to others. But the endgame must be mothers spending quality-time with their children.
There’ve also been a progressive shift towards materialism and consumerism whereby happiness is coming to be defined by them. Modern society cannot change human nature. It is erroneous by what it believes brings inner peace. Love has always made people happy, not money or materials. Contentment with one’s natural identity brings true joy. The unfortunate modern notion is that people need more or other than their nature to be fulfilled. When people believe they can feed children creature comforts and technology without love, affection, and the respect they deserve, they are woefully misguided. A lot of these heinous shooting sprees have been committed by rich children. They needed love and support.
Capitalism, so crucial to Western functioning, actually victimizes communities and ultimately children. It demands selfishness whereas wholesome communities need communal conduct. When families live in close physical proximity but are distant socially and emotionally, they and their children suffer. Community has always been a time-honored social order of profound kinship and social links whereby people actively communicate, share, socialize, encourage each other, and protect each other’s interests. Children have added safety beyond their household in this type of setting and sense emotional propping from it. The modern capitalist notion of every one for himself contradicts the existence of community, even with people living closely in a geographical setting. Capitalism encourages coldness contrary to the warmness of communal behavior. It is that coldness, emotional indifference that sociopaths use to devour their victims.
We need to revert to what’s healthy in the having of society. Otherwise we’ll have victims who may victimize us.