For a few years I have been starting a think-tank called Arm-Chair Institute dedicated to new, different and better ways to counter aggression, hostility, violence, war and fighting.
Our mission is to have people look at whether they can afford violence in their life. The key word, “afford,” leads to using an accounting approach, with assets and liabilities.
Assets include appreciation, community engagement, forgiveness, gratitude, harmony, neighborliness, peace, tranquility, self respect and respect for others.
Liabilities include aggression, battle, fighting, hostility, violence and war.
The average individual has a healthy amount of assets in their livelihood and their world. Most people have created ways to replenish those assets on a daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly basis through music, worship, reading, sharing stories and even enjoying and sharing myths. The average healthy person also respects other people’s stories and myths. Having a healthy balance of assets enables people to enjoy some liabilities without creating unhealthy, embarrassing or dangerous situations they may later regret.
Some people do not have enough healthy assets and cannot afford to engage in forms of entertainment that involve aggression, hostility and violence without the risk of confusing their real world with their virtual world. This is happening today, when people have not maintained or never had a balance.
When they encounter a conflict in their real world, the only thing they know is to destroy their opponent, because that’s what they’ve learned in their virtual world of video games, movies and even in the name of religion.
Those who make monetary gains from the excitement and marketability of liabilities need to recognize the necessity to give back and help maintain the emotional health of people and communities, who make up their customer base.
We invite producers of violent movies, video games, guns and even sports leagues to take responsibility. We encourage religions, if they use words like battle, fighting and war in reference to evil, Satan or anything in the name of their god, to take responsibility, too.