An Intervention For The Future!

A couple of days after the shootings in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, I had a conversation with a journalist friend of mine about it. “What happened to those children is an absolute atrocity,” she said.  “And I’m sure you’re going to disagree with me on this, but in this case I really believe in an eye for an eye. I’m glad Adam Lanza is dead.”

My friend is of course familiar with my devotion to the Yogic path. When she said what she said, her expression was as fierce as her words.  This was a person who was obviously suffering a great deal in response to what had happened on December 14, but what was most significant wasn’t her vehement need for justice.  It was her resignation.

“But what can we do about it?” she finally said.

Cancer is a disease that takes many shapes and forms, and is often treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and other modalities to remove the growths.  In some cases, it’s a manageable issue that never comes back, and in other cases, it can become an overwhelming disease that takes over the entire body.  And while a cancer victim may be given general advice on how to live more healthfully, it’s not always a given that they receive insight into the cause of the disease.  Despite interventions of the past, nothing would prevent the occurrence of further cancer in the future.

I explained to my friend that violence works the same way.

Many people have said many things in response to the shootings.  Some have declared that we have to enforce gun control legislation, while others have debated the potential relevance of Adam Lanza having been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.  But stating that guns are to blame, demanding an eye for an eye, and arguing with each other about the best way to end violence is like treating cancer with chemotherapy: it might seem to resolve the issue on the surface temporarily, but it doesn’t address whatever is causing it to grow.  Cancer can come back as a result of poor lifestyle choices, and so can violence.  And also just like cancer, violence can become so aggressive that it takes over everything.  On that day in Connecticut, the disease of violence overwhelmed us all.

The Yogic path teaches us that the way we treat ourselves finds its way out into the rest of the world.  Violence, while it of course includes yelling at people and physically attacking them, also includes mistreating ourselves in the form of eating unnatural foods in large amounts, spending too much time on the computer, sleeping too much, sleeping too little, and anything else that adds to our imbalance.  Then, when we’re presented with an occurrence like what happened in Sandy Hook, we are already so imbalanced that we become filled with hate and anger. We don’t want love for the world, but rather a quick fix. We want an eye for an eye.

It is New Year’s, a time when we resolve to live differently.  Usually, we resolve to diet for the sake of losing weight or to attract a relationship to make ourselves happy.  But what if we resolved to not just lose weight but to treat ourselves with kindness?  What if we intended to help others to alleviate their suffering, and more fulfilling relationships emerged as a result?  If, as both individuals and as a culture, we embraced the Yogic practice of nonviolence, we would no longer have to worry about our resolutions a year from now.  We wouldn’t have to consider what we should do the next time a tragedy like this takes place.

Indeed, each of us would have addressed the cause of our violence and the disease would never come back.


Yogi Cameron


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  • Beth

    I agree, in most areas of our society, we dont get to the root of the issue, we bandaid everything and wonder why it keeps happening. My change this fall and into the new year is about eating plant based whole food and its changing me! I love it. I feel better mentally, physically and spiritually. I am calmer from the inside out, I feel more peace and with some new awareness, also a little more sad about the world we live in, but am just doing my part and sharing whats working for me to those I come in contact with. Shared with a girl in a dept store yesterday, sweet girl, way overweight, young…maybe she will change too and share with others. This is all I can do, live my own path and create peace in my life even though there is so much unnecessary suffering in the world.

  • Rose

    Yes, mental health is a dis-ease and, yes, cancer is a disease but cancer does not make one kill 26 people and so, for me, that analogy is a bit of a stretch.  Prisons are full of law-breakers so how is changing the laws going to prevent horrific acts of violence?  It may only deter.  As a  people, we  need to learn to love, honour and respect one another – a life lesson  that babies should be witness to from the moment of birth.   

    • TDL reader

      Hi Rose!
      I think that the analogy of “cancer” and “violence” is to adress the fact that it is precisly the cancer in our society that is making everyone so paranoid, crazy and violent.. by cancer I think he ment the lack of a good education with moral values and teaching kids about caring for others and the importance of respect for some other human being, the cancer that is FB and some other massive social platforms… And I’m not saying they are bad it is the abuse and use we give them… nowadays Parents let their kids spent more time sitting in front of the computer going thru FB, Twitter and Instagram instead of investing that time with them and actually talking about THE REAL LIFE! this generation is f*** up! parents dont want to deal with their teenagers drama or they just don’t want to deal with them at all…because they’re tired, they work all day, they’re stressed and they just don’t want to come home and deal with that so they let them waste their time and learn about how to deal with everyday issues with strangers or stupid friends in FB! and that for me is Cancer!… Not giving the proper time and dedication to children, not investing in teaching about moral values, not listening or paying attention to their interest or problems, that’s why so many kids get bullied and parents never notice… or using drugs and parents never notice until one kid gets so lost and so deppresed and lonely that in order to get someones attention, they grab a gun… and that is what needs to stop.
      You know I’m from Mexico, I live in Tijuana wich is in the border with San Diego, an let me tell you this I love the USA its like my second Country… but you guys as a society have a really big social problem, even more so than gun regulation or school security! In Mexico we have social problems too, we have to deal with drug cartels and kidnappings but never ever ever we have lived a tragedy like the one in Conneticut or at the Movie theater or mall…
      We have a lot to learn from eachother…. and a lot to teach ..starting with  love and giving quality time to the kids!… they are the future! so what’s it gonna take? we don’t need guns to kill, words can be as powerfull…

      lots of love.

  • Shellyadelady66

    How in life we absorb what is thrown to us like a sponge instead

    of addressing and wearing an armour which deflects what is not true to

    our values.  The long of the short leading to longer time dealing with

    often mental or physical alignments due to our lack of conviction to be

    true to ourselves…sometimes from lack of inner insite at the time..

  • Joanj

    My heart goes out to the mother and the young man who killed the 20 Newtown Angels and their courageous, loving guardians who did their best to protect them.  The mother was a victim of ignorance and the young man was a victim of mental illness.  God have mercy on them.  Doctors go to Medical School; lawyers go to Law School; parents bring precious souls into the world and just “wing it”.  Perhaps we should be discussing ways to teach the value of life, requiring lessons in child psychology, some preparation for the most important job of all—nurturing and loving children. Let’s take concrete steps toward a world with more love and compassion.  It’s hard to live in a world without love.  So, everyone out there, think of something.

  • Joanj

    Amen to you all—Rose, our Mexican friend, Beth.  We all agree that we, as parents, have failed our children .  Now, what steps can be taken to educate parents?  in the school? in the church, in the community?  We all agree hunters should be allowed to hunt.  What steps can be taken to make sure only hunters can buy rifles.  These babies and their heroic guardians should not have died in vain.  I’ll ask Pres. Obama and powerful people like Dr. Phil and Oprah what we can all do to help save our children. 

  • Dkillen1006

    True! You can not end violence with more laws, but it certainly will be a challenge to love.

  • Mbandoo

    It is often hard to forgive those who have wronged us, hurt us or caused harm to our loved ones. It is also harder to live with hatred festering and growing within us. It does become like a cancer that spreads to our entire body and before you know it the only release is to lash out or harm someone. Who do we become then the hater or the hated? Yogi Cameron you are so wise.