In the name of love...

A few years ago, I bought a tee shirt from the Body Shop during a campaign against domestic violence that said: In the name of love...stop violence against women.

The first time I wore it, a man said: "This is what bugs me about the world. Does this mean that it's OK to continue violence against anyone else? This would have much more impact, be taken more to heart, and include everyone if it said: In the name of love...stop violence!"

I agree because it makes sense. We are sometimes so focused on a facet of the problem, that we forget about the real problem. We literally don't see the forest for the trees. In the name of love, stop violence!

Violence is horrible. It is incredible that we have progressed so much in so many ways, and yet remain so barbaric in others. Using force and violence in this day and age for any reason is shameful. We should know better.

Throughout the ages, people have fought bloody wars - in their families, and in the world at large. Nobody wins in war, not even the so-called winner. To have anything at the expense of another is saying that we can't do it for ourselves, and so we'll take it at any cost from anyone. So, who's the victim? The ones we take from, or us, since we have so little faith in what we can do for ourselves? 

True power comes from within, it can't be taken anywhere. Nobody gives us power. We find it inside of us.

When we discover the power within us, we become understanding, compassionate and humble. When we know who we are, we know that we are all the same, and that the same life force that is within us is within everyone else too. And we know that we are not here to hate and destroy one another. We are here to help each other grow in every way.

This is why the idea that women today are still considered as inferior to men is unbelievable! How can an enlightened society such as ours still cling to something so archaic, antiquated, ridiculous and nonsensical? This idea is insulting to all of humankind. The same applies to the idea of anyone being superior to anyone else, for whatever reason. Anyone who has any sense of a higher power knows that we are all made of the same stuff, by the same creator... regardless of our exterior. What is true of one is true of everyone. We all have the same potential.

As for violence, it's very simple. If I cut myself and bleed, it hurts - just like it would hurt you, or the next person. When we hurt others, we can't be unaware of how it feels, because we have the same potential for feeling. So when we hurt others, knowingly inflicting the pain, how can we justify that? Is there just cause? What is just cause? Even taken to the extreme, if we kill a killer, is that right? Is that teaching him or anyone else that killing is not a good thing to do?

We live in a disposable society. Everything is disposable and replaceable, even lives. There is such little respect for life portrayed in the media, movies, and other forms of entertainment. The average individual, including children, sees up to 10,000 deaths a year this way. Do children realize what life and death really are, when they cheer as the hero in the movie kills the hundredth villain? Do they realize that when you die in real life it's for real - and that you only die once?

Why are we doing this to our kids? Why are we encouraging them to become desensitized, inhuman, vengeful? And how can we claim to be shocked by their actions when they imitate what they see, what we show them willingly and without hesitation?

It's time that we give ourselves a challenge - let's make entertainment fun and truly entertaining. Let's elevate art. Let's elevate life!

Is it possible? Can a movie be any fun if it contains no blood and violence? Can we survive without the latest gossip? Can we turn away from sensationalism, and stop competing to see who can be the most disgusting? How about if we compete to see who can bring the most joy! How about if we make it our goal to make the world so beautiful, that even the most beautiful art would pale by comparison?

It's hard to tell which has the greater influence. Does art reflect life or does life reflect art? Whichever it is, if we change one, we change the other, so any step towards positive change is worthwhile.

Let's create art that makes us better, not worse. Enough already, with the warrior attitude! Life is not a burden, it's a gift. We are not enemies - we are one. Let's start showing that in art, and surely it will rub off on society. And let's do it in real life too!

In the name of love - stop violence and hate! In the name of love and life, Wish Only Well.

Carmen Colombo
June 27, 1997

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