Turn the Heat Down

While talking to one of the nurses one day about coming to visit the US her first response was,”But doesn’t everyone in America have guns.”

This was a little astounding for us to hear. What does this say about our country if that is our reputation? It’s ironic because just earlier that day we had commented to each other about how realistic the kids’ squirt guns were and how children at hospitals in the US aren’t even allowed to pretend to have finger guns, let alone play fight with plastic ones.

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So, what does this say? I get it and I don’t. We think that by eliminating violence in our children’s play it will prevent them from growing up to use guns in an abusive way. But why be so strict with rules on children’s play and not when it comes to adults’ access to actual guns?

Am I biased just because I’m in this environment right now? The Japanese culture is full of such peaceful people. Everyone we’ve stopped to asked for directions has helped us, interactions are full of bowing and respect, and even the elevators say thank you! We’ve witnessed five cops gather around to give a parking ticket because that’s the most action they get—and we are in the bustling center of Tokyo!

In the US we keep saying things about needing to change. But when is that going to happen? It is now clear to me that a peaceful nation is possible, but what does it take?

Is our violence strewn from our differences? That is always what has caused conflict in the past—differences in culture, opinion, mindset, etc. America is a mix of all those things. But how can we be the UNITED states of America if over all these years we still haven’t found a way to live peacefully together while accepting all the differences that make our culture so rich? It’s hard to wrap your mind around a concept like this.

How does one remain a melting pot without letting the fire get too hot?

Here’s an interesting article that speaks to this topic:

http://m.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/07/a-land-without-guns-how-japan-has-virtually-eliminated-shooting-deaths/260189/

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

I hope someday you will join us, and the world will live as one.

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