Recently a friend came up to me and said the words that left me shocked out of my wits – “Tomorrow I’m going to beat up this X guy and make him regret he is alive”.
Trust me, it took me a moment or two to fathom what had just been confessed to me.
Now here’s why the confession was so shocking – this said friend was the most calm and level headed bloke I had ever known. He was the equivalent of a saint. Hearing him, plan an attack of sorts on another human being was simply quite surreal.
I asked him the reason for his sudden outburst.
He explained his reasoning with a calm tone – “Mr X bullied me in 3rd grade. Ever since then, I have always had a personality complex. I’m not even able to talk to girls my own age and it’s all because of him. He needs to pay.”
Not to forget, my friend is now in his first year of college. Which means that he wanted ‘revenge’ for something that happened 10 years ago. It was quite obvious that something had triggered this side of him that I personally was not aware of in the slightest.
He had come to me after making a whole plan. He had been conversing with his friend for over an hour or so and every little detail had been taken care of. The timings, the people who would accompany him et cetera. Hearing that, I was speechless.
“Do you really think that beating someone up for things that happened so many years ago will bring you any kind of happiness?”, I asked him.
“It will bring justice to the child who suffered so much all those years ago.” , he replied.
“No it won’t. This won’t give him any amount of justice. The way I see it.. you have a chance here. A chance to be the bigger man. Forgive them, they made a mistake. Let it go.”, I said.
“I can’t forgive him. This is just a revenge. Nothing else.”
“That’s what you think. This could turn out to be the biggest mistake you’ll ever make, you know that right? Think about your future.”
“I don’t care”.
After an hour of reasoning and counseling, I was able to make him see reason. He broke down and explained his frustration with the present state of his life. The personality complex he had developed because of the bullying years ago had never left him alone. It was always there making him under achieve, making him conscious, shy and distant from the whole world. He believed that taking out his anger on his bullies would make him a stronger person. He couldn’t have been more wrong. A while later, I went on Facebook and searched for this Mr X. As soon as I opened his profile, I was filled with nothing but a weird kind of sympathy for him. He had no friends that he could call ‘good friends’. He was a total loser . He was, as a bully would say, an easy target. And then I understood the reasons my friend thought it would be a good idea to beat him up. He wouldn’t make a sound.
Today we have seen so many cases, where we witnessed a mentally disturbed person resorted to remove all his frustration on the world – recent being the Naval base shootings in America. Is really violence the only solution to our problems? Have we really become that weak that we think it’s ‘ok’ to remove our frustration on a person or a group of persons weaker than us? Instead of fighting our demons and aim at getting better well adjusted members of the society?
Consequently, in India, we have been noticing thousands of cases, everyday, of gang rape, molestation and abuse on women. A woman walking on the street is wary and fearful of every man that stares at her, a moment longer than necessary. Is raping a woman just another way of establishing or regaining power for men?
We are depressed. We are opressed. I get that. But how do you convince yourself that the right way to get rid of this frustration is harming another individual? And as if we couldn’t get more of abuse on human kind by the human kind ; there are now many reported cases of unspeakable animal abuse being committed by human beings.
A thing that I fail to understand is how can someone harm another individual and walk off without a slightest pang of guilt? There’s a reason we have brains and emotions, so that we can form reasoning and sympathize.
According to me , violence is something a person of lesser intellect resorts to. A person of greater intellect resorts to find another ways to solve his problems. And almost always finds a much better and successful way.
P.S : This post is not a rant. It’s a request- A request for everyone concerned to stay alert for signs of depression and mental disturbance in a friend or family member. If you can’t give them a proper counseling, urge them to seek it from a professional. Even if you spend an hour listening to someone else’s problems – you might just be able to reduce 99 problems of the world.