When is violence good?

May 15 / Isabel Dennis
In a region where physical, emotional and institutional violence oozes from every angle in almost every space, it might be easy to say that no kind of or amount of violence is good. But you'd be dead wrong!

Violence is very much a part of the human experience. You'll find it mentioned in EVERY religious text, and (for the non-religious folk) how do you think we get our meat?

Usually when violence is raised as a topic, it's referring to physical violence between human beings. While it is not the only type of violence, it is definitely a cause for concern in the region as it falls under security, the largest item of the budget, in many Caribbean countries.

Safety in Violence

So if physical violence is a part of the human experience, then it cannot be stamped out. So where does it fit in our societies and how do we harness its benefits and reduce its potential for harm?

While this may sound like a paradox, it isn't as odd as you may initially think. Walk with me into the world of combat sports.

I stand to be corrected, but from what I understand, THE most important skill in combat sports is self-discipline. Why? Because without it, there is a huge potential for serious injury and death.
So before students touch weapons like sticks, swords, knives or guns, they must first learn how to manage themselves and how to practice and learn about violence in a safe way. And as they get better and move up the ranks, they get access to more potentially dangerous skills.

What is often missed by people who don't play combat sports is that safety is at the core of the practice. And again, you may be wondering, but they beat each other up! Yes they do. But they have CONSENT to do so. There are rules that govern how it happens, when it happens, where it happens and there are referees and systems that make sure players follow the rules.

In Summary

What is happening in society right now is non-consensual physical violence. This, as you know, is not good or okay. It doesn't require discipline and while there may be some rules, and people are striving to be better than each other....it isn't contained. There are few limits and violence (or anything for that matter) without limits becomes problematic to society.

So when is violence good for society? When it is contained, when it is consensual, when it operates on the principle of safety.
Now, obviously, in a life or death situation, the above can be completely thrown out of the window! But in our everyday lives, violence is necessary and can actually be good for us and society....once managed well.

But fight me on this nah!

On the 2nd Saturday of every month I host a discussion on all things education, learning and development. 

You are welcome to join in to poke holes in my analysis and let's find some common ground cause we hadda figure it out...one way or another...our future depends on it!

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