This past weekend I attended a class and the theme of the lecture for that class was called The Psychology of Terror. When you think of a terrorist, most people make the assumption that they are crazy, demented, psychotic, or have some sort of antisocial disorder. This assumption is incorrect believe it or not. In depth research has proven that terrorists in fact, are lacking in psychologic pathology. A study done where a researcher attached an actor to electrodes, and told the test subject to ask the actor a series of questions after which an electric shock was to be delivered after an incorrect response, proved that most of us, 65% of us in fact, would be willing to deliver a lethal dose of electric shock if instructed to do so. Sixty five percent of people like you and I would be willing to potentially kill someone if coherced into doing it. That is a scary thing!
I talked to my friend Shon about this and he had some very interesting view points. Shon is Israeli and grew up around the daily potential to have a car bomb go off or a building blow up. Shon had a point. We all share the same planet....the same rock that floats in space....why do we find it necessary to racially discriminate, exclude people because of differences, and try to kill each other? My friend Ibrahim, who is Palastinian also grew up in conflict and watched his best friend get shot in the head for no reason, watched his family starve, and saw friends and neighbors die. Here are two men, who are essentially natural born enemies, who both feel the same....why does this violence have to go on. What's the purpose?
As my Father used to say, desperate people do desperate things. I remember Ibrahim telling me how the government stole land, refused to let Palastinians work to the point that people were starving and then when they had to steal to survive they said "see, look how they are!" The people are every day people like you and I, its the governments that create the hate.
I think that its so easy to put people in another group and label them. We all need to remember that we are all human....we all breathe the same air, and think, and bleed, and hurt the same.