Beginning within our homes, each family experience is different. Under normal circumstances, we live two lives: First, we learn how to live. Second, as we develop and mature, we live what we learned. For those who were not fortunate enough to learn and participate in favorable lifestyles at home, some people turn to violence for no justifiable reason. They destroy the quality of life of others and ruin their own lives. How can we choose to improve our quality of life?
First: Since all of our lives matter, we can begin by attending churches and Sunday schools within our community. With encouragement from parents, this should begin at pre-school age and continue as we develop and grow. Clergymen can open the discussion by expressing the need for everyone to respect one another and practice the Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Lessons taught in Sunday school and churches are the foundation of our values following the dictates of the Ten Commandments. These values should be reinforced by parents, and then practiced faithfully by families coming together in Sunday school and church.
Second: Within each congregation, clergy can encourage parishioners to come together to formulate a plan to facilitate group counseling. Invite trained, licensed behavioral health counselors to volunteer their time. Discussions with the group can begin with the importance of civility, and showing respect. Parishioners can share individual concerns, and discuss goals they want to achieve to improve their quality of life.
Third: Once these goals are established, the facilitator can then encourage parishioners to attend one-on-one counseling sessions for privacy. Participants can then transition to individual counseling to be redirected in creating and achieving positive changes to enrich their lifestyles. (Counseling sites are to be determined and organized. Fundraising and donations within the parishes will help to cover the cost of expenses needed to schedule community services.)
Creating changes for the better can’t wait and include: Practicing guidelines through prayer, accepting professional counseling and enabling individuals to transition and improve their quality of life. This will take participation from community leaders and advocates in all cultures to contribute their time, collaborate and participate.
We need to take responsibility to save our society by doing the right things. When parents, children, clergymen, counselors and law enforcement collaborate to control access to the use of guns and other aspects of violence, the foundation for safer and enjoyable lifestyles will materialize. As we eliminate violence and unite to create safer communities with love, our lives will then be enriched and create civility overall. The quality of life for all mankind matters. Our future and safety are in all of our hands.
– Kathy Vetter