EDITOR'S DESK: Examining the possible roots of mass violence

Published: Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 16:33 PM.

If you truly know and respect your neighbor, you’re less likely to hurt him or her, right?

However, with increasingly selfish lifestyles — the Internet makes everyone a celebrity; countless slogans or services say “I AM (blank)” or “My (blank),” suggesting god complexes (the former) or tailoring to each individual’s VIP preferences (the latter) — people’s egos inflate.

Especially in a culture where teachers and parents, with good intentions, insist everyone is “a winner,” setting children up for rude awakenings, shattered glass and even poorer self-concepts later in life.

Under Christianity, people are grains of sand, here today and gone tomorrow, who should “die of self” to serve others. It isn’t the sole belief system that decreases vanity, but regardless of your chosen altruism, the mass media’s constant bombardment of “me” mentality messages drowns all else.

Movies make sin look fun, carefree, sexy and glamorous. But when we use someone as a means to an end — whether for violence or sex — where’s the mutual respect?

How many times have we heard, “To earn respect, you must give respect?”

Commit acts that serve selfish needs and what do you get?



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