I am feeling rather shaken, frustrated and sad right now. I have been working with a class of 13 years old kids in one primary school and I am in a state of shock because of the level of violence I am facing there.
It is not physical, but rather rational and emotional, so to say. It is at the level of kids wanting to hurt one another because they simply want to hurt one another. They want to cause pain in others and when they see the pain and the hurt in the eyes of their school mates, they feel victorious and they laugh. And they feel this is really all right, they like to have power over others, and they want to build up their strength, physical as well as social, in order to achieve that. They simply do not want to look for the nonviolent strategies of conflict resolution because they are completely happy with the violent ones. They like them.
I know, I know, I know that there are completely opposite feelings and needs underneath this violence, I am aware of that fully. But, oh boy is it difficult to see this connection when on the scene. And find empathy within me. I am used to work with people who are being violent but, if not immediately than at least some time after, feel sorry for that. Or at least feel they do not want to be violent but are “being forced to” by other people. Or fail to find other strategies, though they are searching for them. But in this case these kids keep stating that they actually like violent strategies and feel no need to move anywhere from this point.
I do not want to become violent myself, using my power of an adult over them to “make” them less violent and more respectful and all of that, because that would of course lead nowhere. And so I am persisting, trying to melt down the violence and connect with them on the deeper and more true level. Honestly believing it can be done.
However, my system is really in a state of shock and suffering in these situations. I just cannot tolerate violence. Was never able to. I was never able to punch a person in the face because I did not want to hurt them, even when I was a kid. I do get nervous when people are violent towards me, but I get extremely bewildered when I see people violently hurting each other. All of my beingness has been rejecting the world of violence for as long as I remember being alive. I cannot live with it. I do not want to live with it.
Seeing it all around breaks my heart, it really does.