An Open Letter to Humanity From Physical Violence

Dear Humankind ,

I’ve waited for a long time to write this letter because I was convinced that anything I had to say would have fallen on deaf ears. Since you seem to have evolved to the point that you are no longer calling homosexuality a mental disease, (another form of denying an aspect of your own humanity) perhaps you are ready to listen. Like homosexuality, my existence as a part of your humanity has been forced into the closet, and with equally disastrous results. 

Like it or not, I’m part of you. I’m here to help you let off steam, to keep from exploding like a pressure cooker, to keep you from imploding from within. I’m here to help you fight injustice and get what you need to survive. I’m also a big contributor to the existence of your passion—I help give your life the zing and zest it needs to help you survive the monotony of repetition. All this I do for you, and what thanks do I get? None! Slapping the face of a cad, or punching the guy that insulted your mother will now cost you ten thousand dollars in attorney’s fees and some jail time. In fact, you insist on denying that I even exist within you. You speak of me as if I were nothing but a hideous monstrosity, always living within someone else, never yourself.

Did punching your brother or sister for teasing you mercilessly cause any permanent damage, or did these skirmishes ultimately bring you closer, and provide funny stories for you to tell later? You spend billions of dollars to watch me in action—in spectator sports, in war, vicariously enjoying the rush of adrenalin I provide, without ever having to claim ownership. You don’t want to own your own violence so much that you create a special class of people to project it onto—and send them forth to fight your battles, while you remain home, denouncing me. You gossip about me and those who manifest me with an air of superiority. 

You believe that economic violence, such as starving a populace into submission, or bringing legal action against someone for insulting you, rather than punching them in the nose, has allowed you to transcend your own humanity. You think these other forms of violence are superior, that they allow you to rise above that natural expression of rage that you find so disgusting, so sub-human. In fact, it is my existence that helps make you fully human and not just an automaton of controlled, appropriate thoughts and actions. 

I feel sorry for you people, because until you own me, make friends with me, and find fun, creative, and relatively harmless ways for me to express myself –your society will not be able to continue evolving. I’d hardly call trying to drug yourselves into pretending I don’t exist a viable long-term solution. Many of you will accuse me of being responsible for or even condoning domestic violence, or even child abuse so you don’t have to own the fact that it is systemic. Those ugly manifestations of me are rooted in the indignity of poverty and the unbalanced power dynamic it causes. I doubt that you’ll write me back and open up a dialogue with me, but when you’re suffering the consequences later, you won’t be able to say I didn’t try. 

Hopefully,

P.V. 

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