I turned on the TV today and this is what I saw:

Two men with guns, trying to hold down another man (allegedly with a gun) and eventually (out of fear) shoot and kill him (on national television) at point blank range.

Now let’s try this again using race I saw:

Two white men with guns, trying to hold down a black man and eventually shoot him four times out of fear.

Lets try this one last time from a law enforcement perspective, I saw:

Two men, who sign up to put their life on the line, fearful of a violent society, try to detain a possible criminal who may have had a gun, and they shot him, out of what they felt was self defense.

Perspective is everything

This is how people will see this event and the events that follow. People are going to take sides and some of it will be because as humans we are pack animals. This is based on cultural intelligence. Cultural intelligence is the knowledge you have of the world based on the culture you belong to (Herrmann, 2007). But using the Zen philosophy of removing ones Ego and culture from a circumstance lets analyze the above situation one last time, I saw:

Three people engaged in a dispute, two of them were on the same team. They asked the one that was not on their team to submit to them. He was confused and did not submit. They forced him to submit. He resisted and the use of greater force was applied. They continued this display of force, until deadly force seemed necessary. Later the mans son was crying on TV after having watched the video of his father shot and killed at point blank range.

To feel true empathy and compassion is to see the world through all of these perspectives. After all, you are not separate from this, because we all share the same universe. Personally I feel bad for everyone involved in this (police, the black community, his family, the family of the police officers who watched them murder someone on TV). They are all sentient beings:

 

Through violence, you may ‘solve’ one problem, but you sow the seeds for another.

-The Dalai Lama

 

It goes to show that the U.S. takes pride in its diversity, but at the same time it causes conflict because we divide our selves into groups. Online people are already fighting about who’s fault it was and defending each side. But all I saw was violent people acting out and getting hurt (in this case killed).

 

I know this seems hypocritical of me because I do MMA and practice violence every week. However, even though I practice violence, I adhore violence on the street, especially this form of violence that led to someone’s death.  

 

Social Gelo with Angelo

Angelo Ferrer (M.S. Psychology)

 

References

Herrmann, E., Call, J., Hernández-Lloreda, M. V., Hare, B., & Tomasello, M. (2007). Humans have evolved specialized skills of social cognition: The cultural intelligence hypothesis. science, 317(5843), 1360-1366.

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