Today I will be serious. I want to pay respect to all the victims in Norway and their families, and share my thoughts about this tragedy that happened in a country very similar to Sweden (although they are better at cross-country skiing than we are and they have access to oil). We actually consider the Norwegian people to be our brothers and sister, and we love them! As our minster of foreign affairs said this Friday; “today are we all Norwegians” and I think we will feel like this for a long time to come.
This weekend I have spent a substantial time in the sofa watching news from Norway, and as many others I have been crying and trying to understand. Although I have a major in psychology and I have taken a course about terrorism addressing both political and psychological issues, it is so hard to understand. Although I do not think we will completely understand what was going on in this cold-hearted boys mind, I want to devote my post to discussing my thoughts about the potential mechanisms based on my psychological knowledge, but mostly focus on what I think we can do. Before discussing my thought I want to point out that I do not know any detail about the Norwegian murderer’s life, so my thoughts are primary based on what is generally know about dysfunctional persons who commits murder. I also want to make clear that there is much much more that could be said (and please feel free to leave a comment) and I don’t claim to have all the answers or to be an expert. I am only using my democratic rights to express my thoughts.
There is probably many circumstances which has formed the murderer; bullying, alienation, family circumstances, bad self-esteem, etc. Although I am not a great fan of claiming everything on a bad childhood (as I think we all have a responsibility for our actions, and/or a lot of persons grow up in dysfunctional families and still becomes responsible and loving adults and community members), it is very rare that mass murders and/or psychopaths have had a normal and/or happy childhood. Dysfunctional family circumstances might have formed his personality which might have leed dysfunctional relations with peers and to alienation. Rejections and alienation might have created hate and a need for revenge and power. I don’t know, I am speculating. But we do know that happened this Friday in Oslo and at Utöya when a Norwegian boy became the worst mass murderer in modern European time.
Unfortunately, we can’t turn back time, what has happened has happened. But can we do anything to prevent this from happening again? Maybe maybe not, but I think we should try to do what we could do. First of all, I think we need to treat other persons as we could like to be treated (the golden rule). This especially includes people who are special and might not be that easy to hang around with, as they are high risk people of getting into trouble such as becoming members of extreme groups. By as an adult paying attention to other persons feelings and not exclude persons although they are different, I think we will learn children to treat other persons with respect. Children does not do as we say, they do as we do. I do not claim that this is easy and I am the first to admit my short comings, but at least we have to try to do our best. Further, I think adults need to take their responsibility if they see a child growing up in dysfunctional families or being bullied. This sometimes very complicated, but the least we could do is to be there for the child by listening to them. I don’t think any of us want to be the person (a teacher, a neighbour, a friend to the family) how in the future says, I did know this person as a child and I was aware she/he had problems, but I didn’t do anything. As some wise person has said; the big problem is not what evil persons do but what good persons does not do. I can’t stop thinking about what could have been accomplished of the Norwegian mass murder had used all his energy and organizational skills to do something good instead. So, I want to end this post by recommending you to read “Three cups of tea” a story about a man how use all his energy and time to do good, and to prevent hate by education and doing good.
I had to get dressed despite the terrible tragedy.
Top and pants Sunshine, MQ, Bolero and handbag – bought in Turkey, Necklace – Vero Moda or Gina Tricot (I think, I bought it a really loooooong time ago), Clogs – Esprit