Sunday, March 08, 2020


Violence and Aggression in Youth Work.

I have spent much time since I was 26 years old
hanging out with, 
and working with, 
human persons who live a life of 
aggression and violence.

It is NOT the answer, it seems to me.
To tell them to ::
be good, 

settle down, 
get a job .......
'boring' they will say. 

One of the motivations for young violent humans 
is the strategically planned fun and adventure of 
crime and violence.
Another is the inability to manage surging emotions - 
an issue we all grapple with.

When young humans look at older people and most everyday humans 
- they often consider them to be drab 
and NOT the kind of persons they don't want to be.

The answer::
I don't know.
Only ......... 
I believe that we can get nowhere 
without human contact and developing a relationship. 
Getting closer is safer.
Getting closer in a sociological, 
theological and 
sociological sense.
Getting closer not to hate but
getting closer to love
because love does a better job.

Maybe they will consider that, 
getting to know someone different, 
will plant a seed in the soul. 
A gem of a thought. 
A new consideration about life. 
Maybe they will meet a new network of humans 
where life is experienced with some 
considerable excitement and adventure.
Maybe they will be and become more response-able.

Moving on - maybe the human contact 
will lead to the human discovering further options in life.
Consider a new way.
A new life.
A new purpose.
Not imposed, ........... freedom cannot be imposed.
Liberation is a choice which can only be made 
by the human themselves.

I am surprised regularly, really often, 
that humans who are midst 'drugs and crime', 
that is only a short list as a summary, 
how they do respond to the emotional life within themselves and outside themselves.

I am surprised because it always seems to be a miracle.
How these beautiful humans can connect with strong emotions, 
because they have them active in their interior, 
and that is as close as close can be.

Then seeing them connect with the emotions of others, 
the spirituality in others,
then there can be a massive release of a life unlived.
New experiences.
Blinds come up.
Chains fall off
Doors open.
Breathing becomes deeper.
Soul undressed.

Violence is scary for me and everybody.
I hate it.
During the height of the violence of the East London gang The Inter City Firm, 
and crimes committed by them in the name of football supporting, 
I worked alongside a number of them who spent their week planning the fun/Violence for the coming week-end. 
The language they used was drilling into my soul all the time - for years. 

(I am used to swearing and the 
foulest of language and it is 
of no concern to me.) 
Hate, racist passion, enthusiastic boasting of violence ......... is the most foul to me.
Yet we need work with the person and beyond their behaviour.
Love the human despite their behaviour.
 'a Caterpillar looks nothing like a butterfly but one develops from the other.'

From the faith perspective, there is a word called 'incarnation'.
I think (I never know) 
it is about God pouring all his love 
into one human person 
- known as his son, 
that human/divine person spending time 
getting close to humans.
Flesh touching flesh.
Eyes connecting
Souls colliding
Love in human

-and practical

-and concrete action.

It isn't bell until it is tolled
It isn't a song until it sung
It isn't love until it is given away.

I am reflecting today.
As always.
I cannot always tell you about some of my days.
Publish some photographs - I would love to ..........
But I must reflect 
But I must stumble on towards a better understanding.

"People tend to think of non-violence 
as a choice between using force and doing nothing. 

But the real choice takes place at another level. 

Non-violence is less a matter of "not killing" and 
more a matter of showing compassion, of saving and redeeming, of being a healing community. 
One can only choose between doing good to the person placed in one's path, or to do him evil. 
To do good is to love a person; but not to do that is as good as killing him. 
To love someone is to restore that person physically, socially, and spiritually. 
To neglect and postpone this restoration is already to kill."

AndrΓ© TrocmΓ©

...... and did I ever tell you about the evening when an wildly angry man 
came running in to the community which I was leader - 
and he was swinging a Meat Cleaver?
He proceeded to chase another young man around the pool table swinging the cleaver with hate in his eyes ... 
and I stood between them - or more like 
darted between them as they circled to pool table.

I am still here!
There was no damage done - but it was nearly ..... !!

It was no Joke!