Letter: We must break our violent habits
Human experience and training lead to random acts of violence and random acts of kindness. We all know that in athletics, we learn a skill, like how to kick a soccer ball, shoot a hoop, swim a lap or serve a tennis ball; by repeating it. With enough repetition it becomes second nature, automatic. This happens because we have trained our brain and body; we have put in the time and energy. The same goes for learning math, English, history, a foreign language or science; we go over the material, memorize the information and techniques, often by repetition; we are training the brain and body and it becomes second nature, automatic.
So there is no surprise that people spending hours mastering violent video games and watching violent television shows and movies have been trained to violence and cruelty.
It is not complicated. Some ideas for beginning to reverse this trend are: don't buy violent video games, turn off cruel and violent television shows, talk to your kids about how to handle natural competitive instincts in a civilized way. Set an example by being kind and decent. Unraveling the trend toward violence and cruelty in our society will take conscious effort. Letting it go would end up hurting a lot more.
Sally Sandler Bitan