Posted by: joshjasper | November 28, 2010

Running Down a Dream

There is not a day that passes that I don’t think about ending violence.  Most nights I fall asleep thinking about it and will often have dreams about it.  I’m never able to remember the specifics of the dreams, but one thing always remains constant.  I always wake up knowing that we were on the verge of realizing violence prevention in its truest form.  I can never remember how we got there, but I can always remember the incredibly satisfying feeling that washes over me, knowing that we accomplished something great; something that most people will deny even being possible.

It’s hard work ending violence.  The problem is twofold:  To begin, violence is everywhere and it has become normalized.  It can be found in every facet of the media, in the home, at school, and even in church.  Violence has become an everyday part our lives.  It is both accepted and celebrated by many.

Secondly, we’ve grown to become incredibly apathetic.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some people out there that care deeply about ending violence, but there are far more that really don’t care one way or the other.  And to be fair, I can see why.  There’s no easy answer to ending violence.  I’ve yet to see anything that specifically outlines how we can end violence as we know it.  Sure,  I could wear a ribbon on my shirt and pledge to speak out against sexism, be a good role model, be an active bystander, and maybe give a presentation on violence prevention strategies, but if I’m one of only a few that are doing this work, it’s an uphill battle to say the least.

Don’t get me wrong, I remain optimistic and steadfast.  I was watching something last night about the history of Woodstock and it got me thinking about violence prevention.  (did I mention that I think about this a lot?)  It was incredible to see  500,000 people together in one place, for one reason.  What struck me was not so much that so many people came together for peace and music, but that someone was able to organize an effort on such a grand scale.  Nearly half a million people attended this event believing that they were participating in something much larger than themselves and making a difference in the world.  More than 40 years later many attendees share how this one weekend forever changed their lives.

People do want to change the world, we just need to be given direction.  We need to know that it is okay to challenge the norm and to follow our hearts and minds.  There’s not a man, woman or child out there that doesn’t know good from evil and right from wrong.  We need to remind ourselves that although we have our differences, in the end, we are all the same.  I am your brother and you are my sister.

We are equal.



  1. Another amazing thing about Woodstock is that nothing violent occurred (or was reported anyway) in that huge gathering! People got messy, hungry, and had some bad drug experiences (tents were set up for “bad trip” counseling, haha!) but no violence.

    We tried Woodstock again in the 90’s and it ended up being known for all the rapes and violence that occurred there.

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