Addressing the trauma of school violence

Our deepest prayers and condolences go out to the families of Parkland, Florida. As we struggle with the grief and disbelief, we are reminded that violence can erupt anywhere, at any moment.

During this challenging time, let’s work on sharing healthy ways for people to manage their stress, frustration and anger at their core and commit to building human values back into our schools and communities. Together, let’s create a violence-free, stress-free America.

This troubling pattern of school violence has different causes at its core for the perpetrators. We must be aware that aggression is part of our nature and we all possess the potential for it. The challenge is to teach one another how to handle the aggressive tendency that comes within each of us.

We need to teach our kids how to handle their own negative emotions. We cannot avoid stress in life yet we need to teach our young how to manage the stress each of them encounter.

It is our responsibility to institute in each other respect for life and adopting non-violence as our means of conduct.

Young minds must be educated in non-aggression programs and learn how to handle the negative emotions of rage, grief, guilt and frustration.

We must also recognize the hurt and wounded in our society. If someone is behaving badly and is troubled, they are pained and require a healing touch, a sense that someone is listening to them and cares.

If we do this, we can impact their lives. We can help them go from darkness to light and make headway against the scourge of violence.

This is our role as fellow citizens and human beings.

Beyond this, it’s important to develop skills to control our emotions. Meditation can help. This inward journey can help us go deep within to summon the ability to meet our challenges and ultimately triumph. The power is within each of us.

It is time to work together toward creating a violence free society. This is the birthright of every child in our schools.

America has always stood as an example of pluralism and harmony, serving as a guiding light in the world. Currently, the beautiful fabric of America is being damaged by school violence. We can turn this around by joining together in the spirit of America and reapplying our universal values, binding our wounds.

We all pray for the victims’ families and may God give them the strength to pull through this dark time. Let’s resolve to make a violence free and stress free world.

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a world-renowned spiritual and humanitarian leader whose programs have reached an estimated 370 million people in 155 countries. He is the founder of the Art of Living Foundation and the International Association for Human Values, which collaborate on humanitarian initiatives worldwide. Sri Sri’s work includes empowerment and trauma-relief programs for youth, armed-conflict resolution, U.S. veteran PTSD therapy, prisoner rehabilitation, addiction treatment and human-rights advocacy.

4 Comments
  1. kauaidog March 8, 2018 11:24 am Reply

    If only this is what we hear from our Political leaders instead of runarounds that protect the rights of people who make money off of social aggression in America. Just banning guns does no good. We must address the cause not just the symptom. Kids have finally figured out they have a target on their backs and they are not going to take it anymore. I hope a sea of people arrive and march in Washington on the 24th. The world will be watching. Those kids have been nothing short of inspirational.


  2. Steven McMacken March 8, 2018 12:15 pm Reply

    Sri Sri Ravi Shankar founded the Art of Living Foundation in 1981 with the admirable goal of ending violence through spirituality — in other words with thoughts and prayers. Unfortunately, since 1981 millions of people throughout the world have been killed or murdered through violence.

    In the U.S. it’s become an epidemic and the overriding reason is the proliferation of guns, along with their easy access. Until we address and solve THAT specific issue, it’s never going to get any better. So keep your “deepest prayers and condolences,” for they will do nothing to end the ugly violence that permeates America.


    1. RG DeSoto March 9, 2018 9:45 am Reply

      Nonsense, Steven. The proliferation of guns has nothing to do with this problem. It is the proliferation of immorality and evil people. Also the abject failure of agencies like the FBI to act on the information they are given, or of police officers more concerned with their own safety than the lives of those they’re supposed to protect.
      RG DeSoto


      1. Steven McMacken March 9, 2018 7:01 pm Reply

        Hogwash, RG. You’ve never been one to let facts get in the way of your opinions. Data shows that states with the top rates of gun possession have nearly three times the rate of gun murders compared to states with the fewest guns. The more guns there are, the more gun violence occurs. This has been proven over and over in countries throughout the world.


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