By the time the world wars came around the numbers of the soldiers who would aim directly at their enemies had increased. But you still had stories like “Christmas in the Trenches”? coming out of the battlegrounds.
Armies have done a lot over the years to deal with the insides of the soldiers. They do things to make them better fighters, less considerate of their own instincts, and more ready to follow orders into violence.
I was talking with someone this morning about this whole thing.
We seem to have become a society in which training for violence is a normal part of life.
The games we play are increasingly violent. I"m not even talking about the semi-violent kinds of video games out there. But some of the stuff that"s out these days is so violent and requires such a rawness that it"s breathtaking. One popular game is described as;
“Player is a young man working with gangs to gain respect. His mission includes murder, theft, and destruction on every imaginable level. Player recovers his health by visiting prostitutes then recovers funds by beating them to death and taking their money.”?
Yeah, one of the more popular games out there that many are playing.
And if it"s not real enough in the video game, you can shift to real life where you can go out and learn to shoot actual people in games of laser tag or paint ball. Certainly the level of violence is different, it"s apples and oranges. But still, does it train us for violence?
This week I"ve been under the weather, flu wise, so I checked out some television the other night. I"ve never seen CSI before, (and yes, I realize how much I"ve just confessed!!) but wow. Some of the images shown on that, and a few other shows are so amazingly violent. They are the kinds of things I"ve seen occasionally when I"m in the hospital doing on call stuff. It"s not what you would see in the normal course of a life. And they are violent, shocking images that deaden the senses. I mean hey, when you"ve seen every side of a woman in a bikini, hanging upside down, decapitated, what"s left to see really.
My point is, are we raising a generation of hardened, violent, sense-less people for whom it"s a normal response to a hard life to go to school with a hate list and a gun, or to take a bunch of school aged, nonviolent Amish girls hostage to sexually abuse and then kill?
Don't hear me say that anyone who plays the games or watches the programs is wrong or even evil. It"s just not that simple or clearly a right or wrong thing. But I am concerned how we as children, youth, and adults, are being trained and shaped by the world in which we immerse ourselves.
Maybe we should take the time to look at how we are being shaped, and what is being trained into us.
If it"s true that you become more like the people you hang out with, maybe it"s also true that you become more like the things you immerse yourself in. And in a growing number of cases, that is a very very scary thought.
For what it"s worth.