Anyone attempting to justify the actions of the police officer in this video is part of the problem.
I’ve worked with young people for a long time and I’m no one special, but I have been in situations that were potentially volatile—potentially volatile. There is always potential violence, and there is always potential peace. Potential peace can always be actualized when peace is our intention, our starting point.
In my 25 years of working in youth development, especially in youth violence prevention, gang intervention, and street outreach, I’ve been in situations where a teenager has had a loaded gun in their hand, and yet, for 25 years now I’ve never had to use physical force to transform a situation from violent to peaceful.
Over the years I’ve taken many punches and kicks that were not intended for me when I’ve had to break up fights between teenagers to keep both parties safe, and even when breaking up an altercation there is a way to do it with love and respect so that not only the outcome is peace, but the process is peaceful as well.
That is because the intention—my starting point—is peace.
I begin with peace.
I have no legal authority, badge, or weapons in my line of work, but I do have an arsenal of love and humanity that neutralizes potential violence and transforms it into peace.
In this video, the only potential violence was brought, then actualized by the adult, not the young person. I get so tired of hearing adults say, “That kid just needs a good ass whoopin,” when some adults speak about a young person who they deem as being defiant or disrespectful.
Do you not know that when our youth lash out or are withdrawn that those are signs of deep pain?
Do you not know that when a young person is acting in a way that is considered defiant, in all likelihood that young person has already been beaten mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally on many occasions?
Do you not know the difference between punishment and correction?
Many adults come to me thinking they have problems with a young person in their life, yet when we dig a little deeper, more often than not, it is the young person who has many problems with adults in their life. And more often than not, it is the adults who are more resistant to change than the young person.
The young people are the answer, not the problem.
The problem is not the young people within society. The problem is our society within young people. The youth are our teachers. The youth are sacred blessings, miracles, and gifts. And when we humble ourselves and allow them to teach us, we as adults remember to actualize peace through the remembrance of our own sacredness.
There are three rules that exist in order for a relationship to be unhealthy:
1. Don’t talk.
2. Don’t tell.
3. Don’t feel.
And when we teach the young people to break these rules by talking, telling, and feeling, we allow them to help all of us break negative cycles, and remember that intergenerational healing is more powerful than intergenerational trauma. But we have to be willing to see them, hear them, listen to them, learn from them, and make the changes that we need to make so that our society will begin to reflect our inner world of peace when we’re willing to cultivate and actualize the potential peace we all have within us.
There is a way to reach, teach, redirect, and correct without mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual violence. As a matter of fact the only way to connect, reach, teach, redirect, and correct is with love, compassion, respect, and peace. We as adults have to begin with peace and allow peace to lead us so we can truly lead.
Facing the truth has nothing to do with blame. Whether I am working with young people or adults, I am always working with hearts. I’m taking people on a short 17 inch journey from their head back to their heart to piece the pieces together for peace.
It is easy to condemn and crucify, yet I haven’t, and don’t plan to start giving up on any of my fellow human beings. That’s why this letter is also an open invitation to this officer and the department he works for. I am offering my services for free to train this officer and the department he works for so that he and his colleagues realign their intentions to peace, actualize their potential as the healing force they’re created to be, and take the short 17 inch walk from their heads back to their hearts to heal what has to be a broken heart underneath that badge.
Because only in our hurting, our brokenness, do we hurt and break others, while in our healing we help others piece the pieces of peace back together.
Author: Anthony Goulet
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Video Still