How Do You Put An End to Violence? Try Being Nice.

Although the United States has the most violent deaths of any industrialized country, and the horrors of the media do much to promote that concept, we have actually decreased the violent death rate by 18%. Perhaps the warning received through Bowling for Columbine reached its goal in at least beginning to turn the tide. Although not all at once, we as a people are beginning to wake up to the fact that, like it or not, we’re stuck with each other so we’d better start being kinder to one another.

As much as I abhor the amount of violence in our culture, it is not guns that kill people. People kill people. If we are to continue to curb the senseless deaths that plague our country, we the people must open up to ways to care for one another as people.

This is not the role of the government. There’s not enough money in it. And we need not invent yet another organization to do this task for us. This must be a movement of the people.

In order to make kindness and respect systematic, we must first engage these qualities as projects. Starting with something as simple as smiling at more people has the potential to shift the consciousness of a community. What projects can you start to help promote happiness, peace, and goodwill in your community?

Steve McAllister is the author of The Rucksack Letters and How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld. He posts regularly at and is currently the Director of Operational Development for the Common Wealth Time Bank in Sarasota, Florida. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.


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