If Violence Had Not Happened
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by Frank Shortt
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The first example of violence that I can remember reading about was the story of how Cain killed Abel in
the book of Genesis. This was brought on because of jealousy.
A young Cambodian immigrant asked me this very
important question recently, “What would the world be like if there had never been violence?” I was taken aback by her innocence and
wished, that somehow, we all could approach life with that same innocence.
If there was no violence in the
world, there would never be children missing their mom who was killed by an unthinking husband over some triviality. This husband
was raised by parents who bickered and showed violence in the form of domestic violence. Now these same children will have no close
blood relative to raise them as the unthinking husband will spend years in prison thinking about making the wrong decision.
If there was no violence, there would never be a weeping mother as she watched the flag draped casket of her son sink slowly into
the earth from whence he was fashioned in the beginning. No fathers would ever have to hide tears remembering how his son died serving
his country in some far off land that did not appreciate the fact that our armies were there in the first place. This same father
was taught all his life that it is not manly to cry!
Without violence, there would never be a convict on
death row, or serving a life sentence for some various and sundry crime. There would not be prison uprisings, where men would be herded
back into their cells with high-pressure hoses to be later chastised for showing violence at the time. There would never be a need
for places of incarceration.
My young Cambodian friend held a heart full of woe for all the people in the
world who suffer violence. She remembered the stories by ancestors of the Khmer Rouge in her native land that came into towns, took
over the populace, and raped and pillaged all who were left in the settlements. Families were torn apart because of differing opinions
about what was happening to their land. Greed, jealousy, and hatred was rampant!
The Communist Party of Kampuchea
(CPK), otherwise known as the Khmer Rouge, took control of Cambodia on April 17, 1975. The CPK created the state of Democratic Kampuchea
in 1976 and ruled the country until January 1979. The party’s existence was kept secret until 1977, and no one outside the CPK knew
who its leaders were (the leaders called themselves “Angkar Padevat”) Cambodia Tribunal. While Khmer Rouge ruled, policies were set
up that disregarded human life, producing repression and depression. There were massacres on a massive scale, turning the country
into a huge detention center. These centers later became the final resting place for nearly two million people. They did not even
spare their own members or senior leaders. Violence was rampant as with any large takeover of a country and men use violence to gain
superiority! Could this happen in the United States? Thomas Jefferson once said, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”!
The question remains, How can we end violence? Violence can only end when men are regenerated to avoid hatred, jealousy, bigotry,
workplace aggression, domestic squabbles, etc. At the end of our discussion the young idealist lady said:
The world would be a better place,
If there was no violence!