We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.

Buddhadasa Bikkhu, a Thai Buddhist Monk

Saturday, February 16, 2013

"Something" Really Seems to be Happening

A Couple of weeks ago, I posted an entry here that posed the question, "Is "Something" Happening?"  It played with the idea that certain trends in social attitudes and behavior suggest that there is a fundamental transformation quietly taking place in the world.  One of the clearest shifts in this family of social changes is our rapidly changing attitudes in the U.S. towards the gay community—which reflects ongoing changes in attitudes regarding race and gender.

Add to these changes yet another one, which was recently reported on in an article posted on the Christian Science Monitor website (here).  The article draws on statistics from the Bureau of Justice (here), which show that, quoting the DOJ, "From 1994 to 2010, the overall rate of intimate partner violence in the United States declined by 64%."  The article attributes this significant drop in domestic violence to "a broad shift in attitude toward domestic violence."

It is hard to measure in real terms what this drop in partner abuse means because it describes an absence of evil.  It points to  lives not destroyed and families not maimed by violence.  This statistic is about sad, hurtful stories that can't be told because they never happened, apparently tens and hundreds of thousands of such stories, if not millions.  While it is true that the absence of violence is not peace, reducing domestic violence in such a large measure is surely a step in the right direction.

This doesn't mean that all of sudden everything is sweetness & light, but still I'm tellin' ya, there is "something" going on in our world today—a very good "something".