Fourth entry in my essay period journal.
6. ON BEING NICE/ NOT BEING MEAN
Often people will say that things respond to love (by ‘things’ I mean animals, wild or otherwise (see: talking with meat) and children) as a posit that ‘love’ is a cure for multiple harms and also an avoidance strategy for encountering those harms (the ‘loved’ child may grow up to not engage in fights and thus avoid harm.) Are these beings not responding more to simple non-violence? The classic story is the pit bull terrier, trained for dog fights and exposed to horrific treatment, finally rescued, becoming a loving, happy animal. Is the violence removed, or the love added (or both?) When I talk of violence, I am talking of physical harm, to raised voice and even simply prerequisites and threats; disregard for a beings comfort (scaring your pets or children on purpose) which could include simply positioning your body in an imposing or obstructive manner, and, importantly, variations in eye contact. Eyes are almost a language for some beings, such as cats. I include these when talking of violence because they are pre-requisites to violence and thus suggest and embody violence. Just think: people start fights with strangers in bars with the line “are you looking at me?/ “what’re you looking at?” Also, on raised voice; you wouldn’t be expecting a balanced and interesting debate from someone approaching you shouting on the street, would you? All that said, there is definitely something tangible and constructive in what we recognise as ‘love,’ but I believe it is worthless without violence, in all its forms, removed.