This two-part Be Unlimited lesson is about stopping violence before it escalates to the point of no return.
Anyone who’s ever played a video game knows that when a life ends in the virtual world it can start again with the press of a button. The same is not true for human lives. In real life there is no reset button. Some actions have lasting consequences that cannot be resolved. Violence can be life-changing. It can also be life-ending. Both targets and aggressors can find themselves in either situation.
If you think violence settles problems, consider the following outcomes. As a result of violence, some young people have had their faces permanently scarred. Others have been confined to wheelchairs. As a result of violence, some young people lose years of their lives in detention centers or prisons. Others have their lives cut short altogether. Death is the worst possible outcome because it is final.
Sadly, there are many young people who have lost their lives to violence. Too many. The reasons why do not matter in the end. Nobody cares what the retaliation was about or who started it. What matters most when a young person dies through violence is the loss of their potential, the loss of their future, the loss of everything they were to be, do and achieve. Be Unlimited is taking a stand against violence by offering alternatives to it.
Violence can be avoided as easily as any other choice in life. Remember, you are the one who gets to decide. So why choose something as destructive as violence? If you are faced with the pressure of retaliating with violence for something that was done to you or someone you know, there are other options. Think before you act. And think for yourself. Do not allow the choices of others to lead you down the wrong path.
You may also need to learn better ways to express what you are feeling. We have all felt anger. We have all been hurt. But anger and hurt do not have to lead to an act of violence. These two feelings combined can build up inside of us if we do not find a healthy way to release them.
Talk to an adult you trust. Reach out to a family member, school principal, teacher or guidance counselor. Don’t worry about getting into trouble. Adults will be proud of you for wanting to avoid violence and will want to help you because of this.
Do not see yourself as being weak for seeking help. Choosing not to handle a situation with violence is a sign of strength. If you do not recognize this now, you will some day. Be the end of violence in your school or community. Be the end of violence in your life. Let violence end with you.