After the events last Friday in Connecticut, I didn’t want to post about cookies or Christmas cheer. People are asking, “How do we stop these ‘random acts of violence’?” When it comes to health, I always advocate looking for the source of the problem. For example, when my daughters had eczema, instead of putting a steroid cream on the wound day after day, I searched for the cause of their skin irritation. I discovered my kids needed more nourishing foods. Once we fed them nourishing foods for a period of time, the eczema disappeared. When looking at what is happening to our culture and the many acts of violence experienced recently, we ask “How can we stop the violence?” We could build higher fences around schools. Like the steroid cream, this might provide some relief. But would it get to the heart of the issue? I don’t really think so. We could impose stronger limits on gun ownership, something I don’t oppose at all, but would this address the source of the problem? I’m not convinced.
So what is the heart of the issue? I think we should focus on what’s going on in our homes, and in our hearts and minds. Many people are hurting and feel like they have no one on their side. I think we all acknowledge the situation, but what actions can we take which will help?
Dr. William Dodson was the superintendent of Pearl Public Schools in Jackson, Mississippi when a student took the lives of nine other students. He recently wrote a book titled, If Only I Had Known which covers the strategy he’s found which has stopped countless attacks. It’s a moving book and answers his question, “What could we have done to prevent the attack?”
Dr. Dodson learned about the strategy from Mr. Dan Korem. Mr. Korem, author of The Rage of the Random Actor, has been training schools, law enforcement, the military, and businesses how to prevent attacks before they happen. He developed the Missing Protector Strategy for at-risk youths and a profiling system designed to help people like us identify those who might decide to hurt the people around them. This is a behavioral profile – one that has been used to thwart the impulse to commit catastrophic acts in schools, organizations, neighborhoods and in combat. Mr. Korem identified a three-point intervention that “takes the wires apart” so a rage-filled person with the Random Actor traits doesn’t “detonate” – and doesn’t want to hurt those around them. This intervention also guides a person out of the Random Actor profile without racial, ethnic, or gender stereotyping. And it works.
Just like with our health, I think we can all benefit from researching possible root causes, taking charge of our own actions, and making deliberate efforts to change. As we all deliberate our actions in light of Friday’s attack, may I suggest a few options? You may consider reading about the roots of our current wave of violence, starting or joining a program to help at-risk individuals, or getting training for your school or organization. Mr. Korem offers guidance in his books and offers training for school districts, among others. For schools, the training is inexpensive, often only $1.50 per child.
Right now we all want to take action, and I truly believe this kind of training can help save lives. So while we look around for answers, let’s look for the root cause, take the time to learn, and reach out to those around us. What better time than during the Christmas season – a season of hope?