If America is really going to push through its current challenge on its culture of violence, then it needs to truly focus on the cause and not the symptoms. Guns, video games and so on are symptoms. The cause is our inability to feel bonded to one another.

The steps currently being debated based on the President’s recent proposals get at symptoms. To a degree, they are important strides in the right direction. However, if we are truly serious about solving the issue of our violent society, then we really need to work towards fostering a culture where we feel connected and bonded to one another.

What can we do? Here are some thoughts.

Let’s go back to our consideration of Maslow’s hierarchy as we looked at in part 2.  If we want people to feel bonded – to meet the desire to be love and belong to a larger group – then they must have their basic needs met.  So long as their focus is on getting by, trying to survive, meeting their needs for safety and security, then they will never move into focusing on higher needs where they want to feel a sense of love and belonging.  They will have a hard time wanting to see themselves as bonded to one another.

What actions can we take to do this?  What steps can help us focus on these deficiency needs?  Here are just a few thoughts to get you thinking…..

First,  let’s look at the minimum wage.   It has been decades since it was raised.  Families living on this wage need to be able to meet their basic needs.  The focus on the cost to companies, though important, is misdirected.  Yes, there may be in the short run some companies that have to let someone go because of the increased costs of paying a living wage.  But over time, as the increase in wages leads to a higher standard of living and more money in the marketplace, demand will rise and the companies will need additional workers.

Let’s make sure everyone has access to affordable health care, housing and food.  This debate over “Obamacare” is a distraction from our real issue.   There is a moral imperative that everyone have access to care.  The corporation’s  argument that this is going to drive up their costs is the same argument against raising the minimum wage.  It is the selfish and narcissistic aspects of corporations at work.

Let’s give everyone vacation time each year as well as maternity/paternity leave at the birth of a child.  Families and children especially need to bond.  They need time to connect.  Is there a cost to business?  Of course.  But there is a greater cost to our society by our not allowing these connections to form.

People are not “widgets” or “human capital” whose developmental needs can be ignored based on the needs of the bottom line.  We all have the same needs to survive and thrive.

After basic needs are met, then we need to take action to allow people to have the skills to meet their higher needs.  That is the subject of our final part of this five part series.

Mark Gilbert

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Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!