Our psyche's unconscious pursuit 'forces' us to choose political leaders along the same pattern of power that exists in our families from which we come from.
We do not realize how much what has happened in our childhood homes affects our entire adult life and how much the way we have been treated by who were the leaders in our family determines the quality of relationships we would enter as grown-ups. Our mind tends to look for a known 'safe' pattern learned over the years in the family of our origin - what was respected - attracts us as positive, what was condemned and rejected - makes us resent and criticize. Our first authorities leave an unconscious willingness in us to follow the same path (even if we consciously choose the opposite one), and only critical thinking can either reassure us in the values we profess so far or question them and find new ones, closer to our current morality.
If respect for otherness, diversity, someone else's choices, and freedom that does not violate our own or someone else's boundaries have been of value in our family, there is a good chance that we will respect them in adulthood, passing them on to future generations.
However, if our rights were violated at a young age, and our critical and independent thinking regarded as disrespectfulness and disobedience to the parental authority, we can unconsciously copy those attitudes as adults and treat other people according to the acquired patterns, as well as to treat 'the truths' imprinted in our minds as true values.
This is how despots and tyrants are born, who as kids have been probably curious of the surrounding world and full of faith in human values, until on the way of hard discipline, humiliation, often physical punishments and mental manipulation they have become cold, seemingly logical 'cyborgs,' disconnected from feelings, for whom the principle is of higher value than a human being to whom it should serve. Many years of violence create in some people a defense mechanism that treats manifestations of being a human as weakness and despises them as such. They stigmatize compassion, empathy, gentleness, kindness, and understanding as signs of degeneration, and everything that is unknown, incomprehensible and dissimilar to the patterns known from the past - as pathology.
Our mind is convinced that we are acting in good faith; however, it follows what is known and which is not always good and strives to achieve so in the present. Unquestioned, it will allow harming a human if the principle that 'must' be obeyed requires that, just like the adults treated us in our childhood. We will continue to trust absolutely 'mum' or 'dad' who 'knew better' what was right or wrong and who dispelled all doubts with the appropriate dose of 'convincing' arguments about our sin, immorality, guilt or 'pain' caused to god or other objects of worship in the family, accompanied with a spanking or any other physical form of 'argumentation.' So we choose another 'daddy' as president or any political leader because we think they know better what is good for us. It doesn't cross our mind that 'daddy' may be wrong, or may possibly hurt us or others.
Are we aware that those who make up the majority of voters in a given country choose their 'dads' or 'moms' as political leaders? They don't realize that they keep choosing the ones who hurt and humiliated them, who didn't respect their independence and humanity, but were someone they have known and who spoke beautiful words, just like the people from the past. Though, their minds didn't remember that those words were just as empty and meaningless as it was back then.
On the other hand, are we aware that by ridiculing and criticizing the 'values' of these people, no matter what we think about them, not only do we fail to provoke their critical thinking, but also arouse their defensive reaction? Are we aware that it doesn't help to make them see the violence they cause by their choices?
Are we aware that any violence, even 'in defense' of anything, is still violence, except that in this case, we are its authors?
Do we realize that to change anything in the spiral of violence, we should be the first to stop it?
But how to stop the violence?
First of all - by noticing we are also its perpetrators. Even if unconsciously, it doesn't change the fact.
Second of all - stop resisting what is coming from our opponents.
What does it mean?
It means to stop reacting to it.
How come? !!! Allow it? !!! It is harmful, though !!!
It is wrong, indeed, and it hurts, but the effective 'weapon' against it is not to fight but to surrender.
How to surrender then?
First, let's assume that there may be some valid reason in what the other side of the conflict proclaims and listen carefully to it. Let's become all ears. Ask the reasons why the other party thinks the way they do. Let's not talk too much, but listen and pay all time necessary to find out what they mean by saying what they say and let's make sure we understand well. Regardless of our emotions, let us use neutral, peaceful language that respects the other side and their views.
Secondly - after a long listening, let's present our opinions respectfully and look for what we genuinely agree on with the other party and where we can find the common denominator. Let us look for the other party's strengths and good qualities as this will significantly help perceiving them as a human being and cooling down emotions on both sides. Impossible? It is possible. Nothing has only one side. It is only our mind that tends to see things in black or white. And our 'enemy' is often right in many ways, but since they are wrong about a few that we consider significant, we tend to deem them wrong entirely. Our emotions blind us to any positive aspect in someone we've considered to be evil to the core.
Emotions hold high power in our lives, and they can keep us mentally in the past, even though we have reached adulthood with gray hair and noble wrinkles on the face.
People who are more aware of this 'duality' can very well contribute to ending violence and throwing a bridge of understanding between two conflicted parties and it may not be easy for them. They may be irritated and ask 'why should I try to understand them as they don't understand me in the first place'? The answer is as easy as it is complicated - because it is so. Some can see, and others can't. But it is for those who see that have a greater responsibility, whether they like it or not. And it is they who have to be the first to understand and stop aggression towards those who don't and hurt others, for all of us to live in a better world. They should be the first to see friends in their enemies.
What does that really mean? Is there any positive in a small-minded man who mocks, abhors and offends everyone? How to see something that can't possibly be there?
It is only our mind that provides us with such questions and suggests answers in a similar tone. In fact, there is no one-sided thing. Each, even the most 'degenerated' person has a bright side, positive qualities, and something that makes their loved ones love them.
Realizing how much evil is caused by unfair judgment - as we experience it every day from those 'bad' people holding power - we can start today to make a list of all good they represent, have done and have been doing and start talking about it out loud. It may be a big surprise not only to those who have been 'on our side,' criticizing and calling names but to all who have been the object of it in the first place.
A person understood in their pain and traumatic experiences is entirely different from the one who is being condemned and harassed for their actions affected by pain. It is easy to judge them as villains as they expose others to pain and suffering from their decisions dictated by their buried suffering.
It is unnecessary to forget about the wrongdoing did to us and others, but to shed light on the understanding. Some painful memories will remain with us forever, but it is us who decide whether they will affect the way we feel and think. Is it hard? Very much! Especially at the beginning, after years of misunderstandings and regret, pain and resentment.
'If you don't know what to do - don't do anything.' Open your eyes and watch. Notice. See the truth that no person has only one side. It is obvious to us that our loved ones, in addition to advantages, also have disadvantages. But we love them anyway. It is similar to strangers - they have drawbacks and strengths, and there are people who, despite their flaws, love them, so it is possible.
Seeing good where we used to see only evil is challenging as long as we remain enslaved to our emotions and a sense of harm as there is no place for the voice of reason in such an environment. We tend only to see the oppressors and the toll their decisions took on families or entire nations, especially when they hold power.
However, we have enormous strength as we can look at them with a different eye and begin an honest dialog where there is room for constructive opinion rather than hatred and judgment. We can reach out to look for connection and give up on launching missiles from the control panel, which is far easier when you don't have to look into the 'enemy's' eyes.
Those who keep electing such people as leaders of the state - members of parliament or presidents - are the majority. You can either fight it and live in a country full of chaos and unhappiness or understand the mechanism behind it and seek dialog without giving up your own beliefs.
There is always a human being on the other side of the dispute. The higher the violence in their past, the greater their need for understanding and respect. If their needs of being seen and understood are satisfied, there is a better chance for them to open to other, more sublimed skills like empathy and understanding for others. Let's take the first step and be the first to listen instead of judging and casting stones.