We must also be careful to avoid ingesting toxins in the form of violent TV programs, video games, movies, magazines, and books. When we watch that kind of violence, we water our own negative seeds, or tendencies, and eventually we will think and act out of those seeds.
— Thich Nhat Hanh in Living Buddha, Living Christ
Steve Bogner has a post “Just War-Lasting Peace” that I was reading this morning. One of the comments got me to thinking of Thich Nhat Hanh and what he had to say about watering the seeds of violence in our own lives. Thich Nhat Hanh is a man well acquainted with violence and paradoxically peace and non-violence as well. Consider going on a violence fast if you’d like to practice what he is speaking of. Give up entertainments which contain any kind of violence. Over the past several years I’ve gone on news fasts and violence fasts where I’ve limited my intake of television, internet news, and movies that have violent scenes. What has happened in the process has been a renewed sensitivity to the barrage of media from all sources that either intentionally or unintentionally de-sensitizes us to violence.
I’ve found that I can’t watch movies like Patton, Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, et al without either fast forwarding through the violent scenes or being very uncomfortable. I am much more sensitive to the presence of violence around me and I’ve noticed a real softening of my heart towards the victims of violence of any type. Peace.