Just A Thought And Other Things Not Related To Politics

The human brain has no sense of real or make-believe so therefore cannot distinguish between the two.

I heard that somewhere.  Never confirmed it.  But it makes sense to me.

In the right hands, this inability to distinguish fact from fiction becomes less a delusion and more a powerful tool for actuation.

But it also makes toys, games and other seemingly childish matters serious business.

What should we let our children pretend to be?

Even in their play, our children have become increasingly exposed and overexposed to images, sounds and implements of violence and domination.  We won’t even touch on the exposure that ties that same violence and domination to sex.   Set that notion aside for now because it complicates things – not that it’s not important – it just unnecessarily polemicizes a problem whose resolution requires unity and collective reasoning.

At what cost does a kid pick up a toy gun and pretend to shoot someone?  Cheering with glee as his target falls to the ground – no blood, no mess, no crying widow, no fatherless children, no dreams deferred – just a fun game.  Winning!

But if his tender little psyche truly can’t tell the difference between real and make-believe – then the question becomes – what is the psychological impact of being a killer?  Ok, ok.  I’ll dial it back a bit.  It’s an extreme thought – to the point of ridiculousness even…unless the opening statement is true.

And then…in some form or fashion…it could explain some things.

Listen, we can make laws that are designed to control guns.  We can increase security at every public event.  We can lock away all the crazy people.  But make sure you also build hospitals, funeral homes and jails as well because unless we address the fact that we are a society whose littlest citizens are becoming desensitized to violence and all its underlying horror – the slaughter will continue.

It’s only entertainment, right?  It’s only a movie where someone is slashed to pieces, blood gushing, organs hanging.  It was hard to look at first but with each gory movie, the scenes are easier to watch.  It’s easier because it’s not real…again, unless the opening statement is true.

And then…in some form or fashion…it could explain some things.

Like how a child can build a bomb designed to blow up a crowded event or fire a weapon into a Mother’s Day parade or dismember a schoolmate or kill someone because they are bored.

With each tragic event, we look into the eyes of younger and younger perpetrators to find hatred or fear or confusion or maybe even regret…but always, always shock.  Because despite the repeated practice afforded by violent movies and games, it’s as if the consequences of their actions are registering for the very first time.

All I’m asking is…what if the increase in violence in our lives is linked, not to our weapons of choice, but rather to our exposure of choice?  What if we think the exposure is harmless but it’s really not?

At the end of the day, the horror that the perpetrators create can’t be wrapped up neatly in a two-hour movie.  There is no hero that walks off into the sunset having killed all of his enemies.  There is no parade that welcomes home the ruthless mercenary who avenges his buddy’s death.

There are only mothers who have lost their sons and daughters to violent acts that splatter blood everywhere.  If we look closely enough, we may find some on our own hands.

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