I keep coming back to something I say to Trooper all the time, "We are not destructive people, we are creative people." Usually I'm referring to something he's torn up or otherwise ruined, but I hope it will stick with him and be applied to other parts of his life in the future.
This question spins in my mind, begging to be unraveled--Why are people so destructive? We destroy the environment, relationships, self-esteem, reputations, families, our bodies… The list goes on and on, and the answer to most of these things is that we do it for personal gain of some sort, usually short lived. The desire for instant gratification is monster of the most violent type, and will turn even the most thoughtful and caring of us into greedy strip miners of land and soul if we aren't ruthlessly self-aware. Because I have often been guilty of these forms of destruction, I understand them even as I despise them.
But shooting up a club (or school, or mall) full of people for seemingly no reason other than the desire to destroy--how do we understand that? What is there to gain from that? A thrill? A false sense of power?
I insist that there can be no thrill, no sense of power, greater than that of creating something useful or beautiful. I might feel a sense of satisfaction when eradicating a wasp nest from my front door, but that is nothing when compared with the satisfaction of planting and successfully growing a vegetable plant or flower. Maybe in our western culture, we've lost a sense of nurturing as we've drifted from farming and producing, and so we turn our energies elsewhere, looking for a thrill or sense of meaning in destruction. I find myself wondering what our world would look like if our children spent their time gardening and helping those in need instead of playing video games and watching inane kid shows. What if our adults did it?
This led me to think about the people who cause wars, massacres, genocide--were any of them tenders of land and creatures? Health care professionals? Builders? And I mean nurturers, not wholesale farmers who might see the earth as nothing more than a means to an end, doctors out for nothing more than a guaranteed salary. I suppose the heart and intention is actually more important than the acts themselves, or whether or not a career is involved.
It seems to me, admittedly without intentional research, that most if not all of the particularly violent men of world history were rulers who spent their lives telling other people what to do, not cultivating… I will have to look into this further, and hope that you will as well. It would be interesting to learn that the problem hasn't been a lack of being nurtured properly, but rather a lack of nurturing on the part of the individual.