Both white supremacists and Islamic extremists – terrorists, have the same psychological profile. In fact, anyone with an exclusionist ideology, joins them in the same category. Attitudes of segregation and discrimination, without exception, is arrogantly destructive towards humanity.
There are many different people in the world, but we have only this one Earth we all need to live on! We are one family. Our differences can never have reason to be exclusive to each other.
We are all links in one chain. We depend on each other to be strong and hold together. A weak link in the chain destroys us all. We need to keep each other strong. Any judgment or exclusion, weakens a link. We will not survive as a species with broken links. Destructive behavior need to be corrected and adjusted in ways that benefit all.
Pedagogy informs us of educational principles that give a clue about dealing with unruly behavior in children, which principles we can apply in general to society. Let’s imagine ourselves in a family with misbehaving, uncooperative children. Un-cooperation in a family creates conflict and stress that results in an unhealthy home dynamic and environment. The same applies to society where some groups ‘misbehaves’ towards others.
A family relies on parents to guide the children with principles of cooperation. The same goes for society. We need leadership to guide and direct unruly disrespectful social behavior. Besides social leaders, every individual is a leader in their own environment and need to exercise leadership principles where feedback is needed about disrespectful attitudes.
It seems that we have lost our ‘parents’ in society; those wise responsible leaders and elders who practice, teach, and have learned firsthand, the principles that sustains and enhance life for all. The result is that most people are lost in emotional loops, concerning their social conduct, having never learned the principles of respect for themselves and others.
We are a society of unruly self-righteous individuals who do not take responsibility to support each other to grow. We have lost our leaders and our ability to take leadership, because we have lost our principles of living in moral harmony with each other and even ourselves.
Let us look closer to the psychology of a child who believes that they must be in control by hurting, dominating, oppressing, and bullying. Usually, they behave in that way because they believe to obtain the upper hand is the only way to have value. Their contempt for others and their degrading superiority provokes anger in everyone around them. They respond to life with aggression and defiance, judging others as inferior. An appetite for revenge and one-upmanship creates the sense that, having ‘power’ over others is the only way to belong.
Adults usually respond to behavior of disregard and control tactics in their children with anger, annoyance, retaliation, and punishment. If that does not work, they withdraw from the conflict or avoid the child. The emotion provoked in the parent (as described above) is usually the underlying primary emotion in the child too. They feel helpless with anger against the emotional pain of not being acknowledged. When adults avoid the child, withdraw from conflict, or punish this child, the impression of the effectiveness of power is reinforced and the child who then keeps on using it as a social strategy to gain worthiness. They learn that power gives them what they want. Control over others and force gives them a ‘position’ in the family. Their misbehavior and disregard for others is intensified as they observe their parents use this strategy on them and others. Parents are models to children in how to socialize.
Misbehavior of any kind, is founded in deep emotional hurt. Yes, even anger, aggression, and violence! Misbehavior underlies deep feelings of being unloved, and of a sense of not belonging. You can now recognize how getting caught up in the loop of hate and anger retaliation does not solve anything. It just perpetuates violence.
The conflict provoked by extremist’s behavior provokes anger and aggression in us, because we feel unfairly judged and excluded, in the same way a parent feels about their misbehaving child. We participate in confirming deeper social wounds in the ‘perpetrator’ group, when we retaliate with aggression, control, and revenge, in the same way a parent confirms the effectiveness of power to a hurt child. Relationships are not healed and instead gets worse; destructive to the point of annihilation.
There is no excuse for bad behavior and this article has no intention to do so. The fact however is that retaliation will intensify feelings of injustice as well as conflict.
The only way to deal with social ‘misbehavior’ is to raise above the provoked feelings and take a position of leadership to guide the wounded out of their unhappiness. To do that we need to have dealt with our own pain first. Then, strengthen the link in the human chain by moral principles of human cooperation, cohesion, and regard.
What are the principles of informed leadership, that we all must live up to, in our respective positions in life, if we want to create better relationships in this world?
- Leaders think, act, and guide according to constructive, all-inclusive (universal) principles that enhance life for all humanity, fairly.
- Leaders understand misbehavior and the psychological motivation underlying behavior without judgment.
- Leaders do get involved with conflict to guide, model, understand, communicate respectfully, and give constructive feedback.
- Leaders are firm, friendly, emotionally neutral, observant, and principled – they mean what they say because they think things through unbiasedly, and respond with authority and respect.
- Leaders understand their own biases and correct it. They take a constructive principled stand.
- Leaders encourage peace and build confidence and feelings of worthiness among everyone.
- Leaders encourage respectful communication and listen deeply.
- Leaders explore and express ideas and feelings respectfully and explore alternatives with others in a process of problem-solving and constructive living.
- Leaders give constructive feedback and communicate respectfully. They teach how all behavior has social meaning and consequences.
- Leaders practice what they preach. They encourage worthiness, cooperation, respect, positive problem-solving attitudes, acknowledgment of all, and that every individual contribute their talents to life.
- Leaders focus on the positive and encourage everyone to develop a moral, cooperative responsibility, to live principled lives that enhance humanity.
The only way to stay strong, is to support and guide each other according to the principles and morals of healing leadership. The way you live and conduct yourself as a ‘leader’ is needed and vital for each link in the chain of humans, to unite healthily with the rest of the chain of life.
Blessings to your All