Waves Sharon violence

  • Issue: April 1994
  • Designer: Y. Arad
  • Stamp size: 30.8 x 30.8 mm
  • Plate no.: 223
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Offset

Since the first murder in history, the slaying of Abel by his brother Cain, violence in its various forms has been with us at all times, in all cultures, among all age groups and in both the sexes.

Violence can be directed both against other human beings: (old people, children, men and women), and against animals and property. Violence can be physical and verbal, individual and collective, impulsive and premeditated.

One might think that human violence reached its peak during the European Holocaust. But present day occurrences of violence lead us to the frightening conclusion that everybody is a potential victim of violence.

Because of the universality of the phenomenon, certain researchers have reached the pessimistic conclusion that violence is unavoidable, instinctive behaviour, like eating and drinking, which we cannot live without.

The Nazis adopted this theory - even though it is totally unsubstantiated - because it confirms that violence is the right way of implementing the law of the survival of the fittest, whilst the non-violent, ethical laws of behaviour, a creation of the weak, are destined to extinction.

There were those who sought the reasons behind violence in biological causes: genetic factors, chromosomal aberrations, specific physiological and biochemical processes, and functional defects of the nervous system. But it turned out that the influence of these factors on human violence is limited, since human behaviour is primarily affected by interaction with other people and by patterns of behaviour inculcated during childhood, in the process of education.

In the same way as a child learns - by imitation and identification and through a reward and punishment system - to eat politely or to look after his or her appearance, he or she also learns patterns of interaction with other people, both in situations of love and friendship, and in situations of frustration and hostility. The more the child is exposed to violence - in the family, in the community and through the media - the greater is the probability that he will get accustomed to these patterns of behaviour and even adopt them.

In research, special emphasis is placed on the connection between violence in the media (movies and television) and violent behaviour.

As opposed to old notions that watching acts of violence reduces the level of violence by providing indirect imaginary outlets to impulsive urges, today it is accepted that continual exposure to scenes of violence increases the overall level of violence among viewers, and causes some of them to imitate what they see.

It is clear then that the society in which the individual is educated is vested with immense responsibility for prevention and restraint of violence. Adoption of non-violent solutions to interpersonal conflicts, and to prevention of over-exposure to violent scenes, are likely to make a positive contribution to shaping an enlightened society, one which is pleasant to live in.

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No to violence