Violence Holds Us All Hostage

Violence Holds Us All Hostage

© Vkarafill | - Children Violence Photo

by Barbara Kaufmann

How long now have you been a hostage? I’ve been held against my will and forced to endure the kind of violence the human mind—first of all-  just can’t comprehend. So have you. If you have ever been a victim of violence or an observer of violence, it has burned a hole in your soul and you carry inside you—PTSD. We cannot witness violence without a violent event causing trauma to our psyche. To our soul. We all witness violence on this planet; we are all, therefore, trauma survivors.

This is not the planet I signed up for. On my planet people are kind, compassionate, and they view other human beings as a brothers and sisters. They feel no need to be dominant or superior, nor are they inferior, subservient, undesirable or throw away people. On my planet there is a creating force or flow, a creator that bends toward organization and evolution out of chaos—and that creative force or creator is named a name for ease of reference. The naming bestows no power of significance; the most important thing about creation is that humans are an outgrowth of that force or movement and as such, are its highest, most complex and beautiful achievement thus far.

On my planet there are principles and genders—two primary genders or polarities, to be exact. And they are equally valued as creations of a benefactor creator. Because they are creations of a creator or force beyond current understanding, they are a mysterious gift of that Active Creative Principle and are equally valued and loved by their benefactor. On my planet, they are treated with courtesy, compassion, respect and seen as a kind of mini-Me or extension of the creator.  Thus, they are holy. In fact, all creations of my planet are holy. 

Creation is not of our (human) doing; we are human beings. We are merely stewards of the gift of life and a planet and a marvelous diversity of created or evolved (or both) biological entities that work, love, reproduce, build, design, learn, feel awe and live… Or not. 

Violence has no place on my planet. And certainly it has no place being foisted on half of those biological entities, who inhabit it. Who dares, in the face of a creator, to deem it acceptable to harm, bully, maim, marginalize, beat into submission, own, enslave or kill one biological entity and excuse those actions for reason of gender? Gender too, is a creation gift.  

When one begins to examine the vast array of methods violence is inflicted on human beings for trumped up, empty, egoic and flimsily justified reasons, the observing can be overwhelming. And so it is crushingly overwhelming. The emptiness violence creates in the soul causes real pain. And those who perpetrate violence and injustice are the most soul-less. 

The soul knows. When considering one option or another, asking “What will nourish my soul, the answer is immediately known. It’s hard-wired. And when the activity is soul-less, that also is known. It may not be evident immediately or it may be bypassed, denied or suppressed, but violence chosen damages the soul. A soul-less being is as a “dead man walking;” someday they will bury the body but it’s already dead inside.

When a planet has gone astray of the Prime Directive, everybody suffers. Some more than others. The planet herself suffers from the fallout of indifference and not being valued. Violence, torture and pain are hard to witness. There is pain in the witnessing. It may be easier to insulate oneself with denial or indifference or to turn away from the awful picture and residual that carnage leaves. You can never unsee some images. The pain of the victims is obvious but less obvious is the pain of the observer. It’s hard to grapple with the reality of soul-less violence and its magnitude. It’s hard to assimilate what humans are capable of—especially to other humans. We welcome in only what we can cope with.

But there is power in standing up for what is right and just and soul nourishing. There is power in standing for others. For solidarity. There is power in the human heart and the love it is capable of. The reason violence to self, to others and to the planet is so distasteful and painful is that it arises out of a place of love. We love us, others and the planet. If we didn’t love so fiercely, we wouldn’t hurt so much from violence—receiving it, observing it and yes, even perpetrating it. It doesn’t just ache the heart; it aches the soul and put holes in something holy.

Creation has two polarities- the masculine and the feminine. When they are out of balance, the chaos and negative entropy that is trying to organize life into its highest form is disrupted and disruptive. The race moves backward instead of forward. Balance begets beauty. The human heart is just as capable of light and brilliance as it is darkness and shadow. And it’s more hard wired.

My planet has balance, is moving toward the light. On my planet there is no patriarchy, no patronizing, no dominating, and no devaluing. For far too long, the masculine principle run amok has guided life on the planet and an overabundance of testosterone, machismo, and imbalanced angry hormones and behaviors unleashed has led us to war and to the capability of the atomic destruction of our own race.

The women on my planet are waking up. They are rising up against this suffocating influence of an unbalanced and unchecked masculine patriarchy capable of unspeakable harm. They are mobilizing to restore the masculine-feminine balance. They are taking back their power and their rightful place as a companion gender, not a devalued partly, or a lesser human.

Women must rise. Intuitively, they know that. Soulfully and viscerally they feel it. Women are violated every day in order to keep them in line, to restrain them from walking beside their gender counterpart as an equal. Privilege and power are hard to relinquish but on my planet we must; and we must invite all humans as equals and value them as fellow creations. Change and shifting paradigms are always perceived as a threat. Change is threatening and the brain chemicals react to it as though it were torture so the mind feels it as the threat of extinguishment of the ego; but actual extinction if we don’t change how we conduct ourselves on this planet threatens life itself.  

A movement toward planetary balance must begin with individuals. It must amass solidarity. It must push back against that which is soul-less. Women are asking, no—demanding—change.  It’s even quite possible they are about the unconscious and covert business and agenda of saving the planet. 

One Billion Rising is part of that individual revolution become collective evolution. Behind the action of women standing up for themselves is the impulse and motivation to stand up for self, for others and for the planet. It’s a revolution that just may save us from ourselves. 

Women are rising. Let them!

In fact, rise with them. On February 14, one billion women around the earth will rise, celebrate the feminine, and dance in solidarity. They will dance to end the violence and shake the earth into awareness. They will form flash mobs and they will gather to expose violence and change the world. They will, on Valentine’s Day celebrate love, not as a sentiment but as a fierce demanding for a more humane humanity and planet. It’s the highest form of love.

If you’d like to join, go to to find tools and planning kits. 

Sign up; lend your voice, rise and dance for a new and improved planet.—the one I signed up for and the one you know very deeply, that you did too.  Rise! 

Barbara Kaufmann, “One Wordsmith” discovered a long time ago, the power in words, images and "story” to change the world. Told with art, music, words, photos, images, film... "story" can grab the human heart, squeeze it, burst it open and send a corona of inspired-creative-human-brilliance shimmering through mass consciousness, the world and the Universe itself. A single image can reverberate round the globe and startle humanity awake. Founder of  “Words and Violence” Program about bullying in all its forms on this planet, and writer for Voices Education Project, The International Charter for Compassion, a Huffington Post contributor, poet, artist, scriptwriter and filmmaker—Barbara “writes to simply change the world.” Her ministry and life’s work is dedicated to “establishing a more humane narrative on this planet.”


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