A large crowd was following Jesus and his disciples when they were near Jericho. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (the son of Timaeus) was sitting by the road. When he asked what was going on, a person told him “Jesus the Nazarene is walking by.”
He began to cry out “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” People in the front of the crowd told him to keep quiet, but he began to cry out even more, saying “Have mercy on me, Son of David!”
Jesus stopped and asked that the blind man be brought to him. They called to the blind man and said “Cheer up! Come on, he’s calling for you!” Immediately he flung off his cloak, jumped up and went to Jesus.
Jesus asked him “What do you want me to do for you?”
Bartimaeus said, “Teacher I want to see!”
Moved with compassion, Jesus said “Open your eyes. Your faith has healed you.”
He was immediately able to see and he began to follow him on the road, giving glory to God. Everyone who saw this happen began to praise God.
MT 20:29-34, MK 10:46-52, LK 18:35-43
We’ve had too many examples of people becoming violent and randomly killing people. This isn’t something that is going to go away unless we make it go away. It is a weed that takes many years to grow. We have the ability to eradicate it in the future. Here are some of my ideas about a cure for violence. Some of this I wrote a few years ago, after a rash of these occurrences.
Just like with treating toddlers -ignore the bad behavior and reward the good. Don’t publicize the name of the criminal, the perpetrator. Lets’ not have a payoff.
Notice and acknowledge people. Everybody needs to know that they count. When you see someone who is a loner, make contact with them. Befriend them. It isn’t easy. But it is essential. It is part of this “love your neighbor” thing we are supposed to do.
Remove, discourage violence in the media. Games and movies that depict violence should not be bought. They should not be made, but we can’t control that. Take away the demand, then the supply will go away. I’m not about making laws for these things. Make it illegal and you’ve made it taboo. Make it taboo and you’ve made it desirable. Kids want what they can’t have. Rather, we need to watch what we consume.
We need to make it socially unacceptable for people to play war in their spare time. Especially kids, who don’t have the maturity to understand reality from unreality. How can you know what is real when you never see it? “Reality TV” isn’t. It is over the top, scripted, and fake, much like our celebrities. We have created a society of artifice, where we celebrate the un-real.
We need healthy outlets for emotions. We bottle them up and suppress our real emotions. Everything is supposed to be fine in our society, and this just isn’t normal. We don’t have a way to process pain. We need that. It has to get out.
I’m not advocating gun control. I’m advocating people control.
Is it that we have more violence these days, or that we are just so connected that we can’t help but see it? And why don’t we see a balance of “good” stories? Surely just as much good is happening.