The year was 1966 and the date 30, June. It was the day that Michael Gerard Tyson cut the umbilical cord with his mother Lorna Smith and arrived on planet Earth. It was destiny percase that his gargantuan and brawny frame was welded with guile and facile locomotion, moving like a butterfly and stinging like a bee. He idolised the fabled Muhammad Ali while participating in the hazardous sport that is boxing.
Arriving on the World stage
Before he made his presence felt on the world stage, Mike Tyson spent his young years in crime ridden neighbourhoods. Tyson himself was caught on several occasions committing petty crimes in an attempt to protect himself from bullies and also due to high exposure to crime. By age 13 he had been convicted 38 times. Infact his nascent boxing talent was discovered by juvenile detention centre counsellor and former boxer, Bobby Stewart.
Tyson went on to become the lineal champion in the year 1988 when he successfully devastated compatriot Michael Spinks in mere 91 seconds.
Rise and fall
Tyson however, went down the spiral by charting a hubristic path. In the year 1992, the law of the land caught him on the despicable charges of rape. He was convicted for this brutality on womanhood and was sentenced for a six year period to the cold confines of a prison. Fortuitously for him, the celebrated boxer was spared on parole after digging his heels in for a period of less than four years.
The inevitability of decline
No one and nothing is sempiternal. Humans by their charitable acts can attain immortality. The aggressive Boxer at the age of 35 was felled by Lennox Lewis and in 2006 he quit the sport after successive defeats at the gloves of Danny Williams and Lennox Lewis.
Consequently ended the career saga of this bizarre and uncanny sportsperson. He was famously quoted saying, “Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth.”
What is aggression?
Aggression and violence have assumed monstrous proportions today. These twin problems, rage in households, families, nations, societies, organised religious dispensations, colleges, universities, governments and the world at large. The spectrum includes child abuse, domestic violence, murder, terrorist killings, molestation, rapes, riots and technological and biological warfare.
Estimable and pre-eminent psychologists however deploy the term aggression to indicate a behavioural pattern by any individual or individuals intending to cause harm to other person or persons. Violence is forceful, obstructive and inimical behaviour towards some other individual, organisations, an object or society at large.
There is however, a difference between aggression and violence. Violence per se endangers the life and property of an individual, society or a country, while aggression could be public or private display of latent anger. It is more self–destructive in nature. The ovule and genesis of these tendencies are singularly psychological and physical in nature.
Violence begets violence: Contributory factors
A child could be born to alcoholic or psychologically disturbed parents, or might have been exposed to violence, constant displacement or subjected to any kind of abuse; a child born in maximal poverty or a child who is a victim of terror. The tenebrous atmosphere that is usually the consequence engulfs the child’s psychology and plays havoc on the mental framework of the child. Such children are invariably truculent and savage by nature.
Bellicose and frenzied tendencies could be indirectly triggered by psychological mechanisms on account of activation of various parts in the brain. This leads to arousal of certain emotive feelings which in turn leads to crowding in the mind resulting in negative arousal. Inbuilt frustration in the child, rearing of the child and deep frustration in a human being acts as a tipping point wherein, the individual is unable to think and act rationally and is prone to aggressive and violent tendencies.
Compassion and forgiveness
As the adage goes, “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. The holy grail of Mahatma Gandhi was compassion. Recall the iconic scene from the movie Gandhi craftily canned by Sir Richard Attenborough, where Om Puri flings a few chappatis (Indian bread) on the Mahatma beseeching him to forsake fasting. The character of Mahatma essayed by Ben Kingsley asks Om Puri to eschew violence and adopt two Muslim children in those agitated times and rear them to profess Islamic religion. Perhaps only the Mahatma could think of such an out-of-box solution in the most adverse conditions. Ahimsa and Satyagraha were intrinsic to his personality and the twin weapons in his arsenal to combat antagonism and barbarity.
Compassion is not saying, “Oh, make someone a culprit and then I will forgive them.” This in no manner is compassion. Forgiveness should be such that the person forgiven does not even palpably realise that he/ she has been forgiven. Even celestial beings commit mistakes, so why are individuals so judgemental about mistakes purportedly committed by other humans. The blueprint should be not to make the victim feel guilty. This metamorphoses and transfigures his mind to abnegate violence and aggression.
Chanting of Mantras
There is a favoured Sanskrit saying, “Manana trayate iti mantra”. Human mind is cannonaded by antipathetic thoughts. However, chanting of mantras creates impulses or efficacious rhythms in the consciousness. These seeds or the bija mantras create positive impulses, such that through constant chanting positive vibrations engulf human mind and all Sisyphean thoughts get dissolved. An individual who is on the tenuous border of committing a crime is thus able to save his mind.
“The drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence, but by oft falling,” wrote Lucretius, the Roman poet and priest.