HAVANA TIMES — How many times have you heard someone call someone an animal because of their brutality and violence be it verbal or physical. The funny thing is calling a person an animal is not an insult because in reality we are animals, the main difference being we can reason and think.
When we look at what some men and women have done to us we start to wonder if dogs, lions and bears are really more animal than us.
Generally when we talk about violence we are referring to fathers mistreating their children, husbands their wives or one member of the family abusing another but we forget that we are also victims of violence in the workplace, at school, in the street.
The abuse we get here in Cuba from clerks at State run stores (both those that sell in hard currency or regular pesos), swearing in the streets, schools and hospitals, jostling in queues, frequent quarrels at neighborhood parties, uproar during the night and loud music at any time of day and night are just some of the many acts of violence we face daily.
People have removed from their vocabularies phrases like: excuse me, thank you, please, sorry. It seems that it is easier to push, scream or offend to get what you want from your peers.
In the local media here in Guantanamo they often talk about social indiscipline and they have appealed to families the primary educator of our children and youth. The goal is to educate men and women who are respectful, courteous, and tolerant, who know how to listen, respect their neighbors, classmates or colleagues at work.
It is a difficult task when you consider that sometimes parents are worse than their children, or that children are the way they are because of some relative or other, or because they do not want to stick out in the neighborhood where they live.
But it is never too late to educate our children, we can always teach them the magical ways of persuasion, which are no more than communication, good manners, good treatment and understanding especially when you do not agree with something.
There is always some way to express our discontent or dissatisfaction with something or someone. It is never wise to shout or threaten, much less strike someone because, as we know, violence begets violence.
Each of us can be the first to contribute to building a less violent society. I am joining the non-violent world, what about you?