One of the biggest difficulties a community can face is when a powerful individual or small group of individuals are willing to risk destruction just to get their own way. Mind you, these people have existed throughout history, and they often used warfare or exile as a way of solving differences. Whether or not they are in the right, the main problem is that this negotiation strategy is never “Win-Win”, and losses are guaranteed for both sides, even if they don’t realize it at that time. This situation is hard to handle because we want to promote freedom of speech and individuality, and modern society actively promotes empowerment. But just as a child will run away from home to teach the parents a lesson, some individuals feel their belief is worth dying for. Friends, as far as I am concerned, this is a scary thought! Though It is also the foundation of revolutions and social reform that led to present day society.
“Might makes right” sounds attractive, especially when we are in a position of strength or have a hideaway where we can be safe, but sticking our head in the sand will not save us from danger. Thus, modern society has made many laws to protect individuals without power, such as renters, children, employees, battered spouses, etc., recognizing the limits to cordial negotiations. These “social rights” are often hailed as ground breaking, but laws alone cannot build a community: they are like Band-Aids or casts for a person who has had an accident. These laws can only help the social body (individual or community) repair itself. In other words, as many areas in conflict have found out time and time again, enforcement and policing cannot build new futures: only people working together to innovate or to create can do this. Yet many of us haven’t learned from history.
Many of us focus on punishing what we disagree with, instead of promoting ideals. Did you know that mental health and body issues were once treated with electric shock and high dose radiation in order to kill off whatever was causing the condition? For those of you who do not know, these extreme treatments were neither effective nor efficient, and are now only used in very special cases.
This is true in every area of human endeavor, part of the historical “sink or swim” and “survival of the fittest” and “over my dead body” schools of raising children, in which extreme negative enforcement (which some may consider abuse) is common. If one child is stealing food, keep all of them away from the pantry. If one worker slacks off, punish all of them. If one politician is corrupt, accuse and attack all of them. The extreme case, very common in this “non-violent” modern era is that in order to prove ourselves right, many of us are willing to paralyze an industry or country via strikes, shut downs, or refusal to approve a budget or activity (in the case of those with authority). Some have even said that we are lemmings marching towards disaster, but this is worse than being lemmings, because only a few are actively blocking growth and survival - others simply look on and applaud or boo – as if it were entertainment on TV and not their future at stake.
Human-on-human violence, including warfare, continues creating strife throughout the world, hiding behind many beliefs and even laws. In the places where this violence is common, economic and social development lags, education and childhood suffer, and whole regions are excluded from the benefits of modern civilization and technology. Worse yet, a few regions and countries have gone from prosperity to misery in just a few years, destroying dreams, hopes and much of their success. The refugee crisis is but one of the many examples of how we are mishandling our future, creating huge masses of humanity that have nothing left to lose but their biological life, and they might be willing to lose it just for the satisfaction of spiting the world or the community that rejects them.
Am I oversimplifying the issues? Almost certainly, but I don’t think we need all the details: I think many of the details and arguments in the media are distracting us from the reality of each issue, mainly because the media wants to promote some sensationalism and sell (more newspapers, advertisements, etc.) their ongoing services.
Each interest group promotes their own beliefs, standards and way of doing things. This is normal and the human way of dealing with life. But we also have to consider that there are many individuals who have not decided what they want in every aspect of their lives. In my case, I question and wonder and, yes, sometimes I let other people decide for me. But I still pay attention, because if those people start moving in the wrong direction (as far as my interests go), I have to take action quickly.
Similarly, in many areas of human endeavor, most people often stand in the sidelines and watch, or applaud one side of the other, or trash one side or the other… without realizing how that a foolish conflict could have long lasting effect for all. We have seen this in human history, including conflict between neighbors, families, even brothers and sisters. Yet our history books celebrate the victories that led to social reform and benefits for many people in spite of the unnecessary conflict that may have ensued.
The principles of non-violence do not only apply to physical aggression: they also apply to verbal and ideological violence. Each of us should understand that modern society requires non-violent interactions for success. And, dear reader, non-violent exchanges have characterized our greatest achievements in the past 200 years, in every continent and region whenever democracy, empowerment and goodwill have been given a chance.
To conclude then, both as a Master Professional Coach, as well as a member of my community, and the other groups I am part of, I ask you the following questions:
1. Do you want to be right at all costs, or do you want yourself, your family and your communities to grow and develop?
2. Might they grow and develop differently than what you expect?
As a father I learned a lot from my children and grew in wisdom as I allowed them to make decisions and some mistakes, and I let them learn from those mistakes- I learned I could not really control any of my children if they were in disagreement with me, so how could I expect to control my neighbors, friends, acquaintances and strangers?
I believe all people think and act as individuals and have achieved success in life on their own terms. Thus, my children were successful following their own ideals, not mine: which means they have surpassed everything I expected.
Think about it: we can have a voice for the future, or simply stand firm and say “My way, or no way”. Or, is there another way?
For the record, and only half in gest, I would never tell anyone “over my dead body” especially when they may be holding a weapon… concealed or

Author's Bio: 

Born in South America, I am known as a Renaissance Man, avid reader and experienced in NYC local organizations, international Oil Operations, financial compliance, cryptocurrency, empowerment, participation, civil rights, local and government development, promotion of human space development, technology, and non-profits. I am known to stand up for my community, and working from within corporate and government structures to achieve change. And, being born overseas, I understand the realities immigrants face when coming to the USA. In addition I am a certified master professional coach besides being an entrepreneur and published author.