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Violence teaches lesson to live a peaceful life

By JACK GODBEY

Community columnist

Sometimes I wonder if technology has gotten too smart for its own good. 

I have a coffee maker that can make coffee while I sleep and a vacuum cleaner that vacuums the floor while I am at work. 

My TV remote control has been telling me for two weeks that the batteries that were inside were getting low and needed to be changed. I ignored it until it got so bad that it finally stopped working altogether. I expected the remote to tell me that it told me so, but it didn’t. 

The worst part was that when it decided to stop working, I was scrolling through channels and it waited until I landed on the news and then it just stopped. While I sat there debating if it was worth getting up to get new batteries, I was subjected to such violent news stories that I didn’t believe my eyes. I noticed that some people seem to have such little regard for life. 

Everything on the news was about killing, trying to blow stuff up and then blaming someone else for their actions. 

I’m not sure why this surprised me. It’s not as if the news hasn’t been reporting this stuff my entire life. 

In my world, it’s still 1986. Music was still worth listening to, the TV sitcom was worth watching and cars were still cool. Somewhere along the way while I wasn’t looking, we seem to have turned into a world of violence. 

After raiding every drawer in the house, I finally found some batteries and like magic, the remote control sprung to life and I was back in business. However, I found that no matter what movie or show I watched, the main theme seemed to be centered on violence. 

As I sat and wondered about this, I recalled in my own life when I first learned the value of life and I remembered the exact moment when this occurred. 

When I was about 8 years old, I wanted a BB gun more than anything. That Christmas, my dream came true and I was rarely separated from it from that point forward. 

I spent my free time shooting tin cans off the top of fence posts and on occasion, mischief would take over and I would shoot one of the cows in the neighbor’s field whose thick leather skin allowed it to ignore me and not even look up from eating grass to see what was going on.

I was shooting cans one day after school and I saw a bird land on a tree limb next to me. Without thinking, I aimed my gun and fired off a BB thinking how funny it would be when the feathers would fly and the bird would jump and then fly away. 

However, when I fired the shot the bird never made a sound and its lifeless body just hit the ground with a thud. I ran over to try to revive it but it was no use. 

At that moment, I realized the value of life and how precious it truly is. Once I made the decision to pull the trigger, all the regret in the world made absolutely no difference. 

Besides the occasional housefly, I have not taken the life of anything since that day yet would do so in a heartbeat to protect my family.

I read somewhere where a peaceful man is capable of great violence but chooses not to use it. I then choose to be peaceful. The birds of the world can rejoice.