ROBIN GRILLE

PARENTING AUTHOR, AUSTRALIA

“A bright future is upon us. We know that the simple and certain key to a good, peaceful, prosperous future simply is a non-violent childhood.”

Robyn brings us the best news imaginable:

Everything gets better, if we let our children grow up without violence. It already has, big time, if you look back at how things were in Europe’s homes of the 1920s and how its inhabitants tick today.

Parenting for a Peaceful World. Behavioral and Brain Science

Robin has gone to great lengths to prove to all of us that have grown up in societies traumatized by millenia of violent empire, that the life of a human being, of our children, and of our societies as a whole is determined by the degree of psychological and physical violence in childhood years – most of all : in the family home. It is obvious, but it needs to be said. And he does so with eye-opening, memorable facts and data that we never ever forget, with reference to childhood, historical examples and spheres of our lives that we all know (all too) well.

Many people say humans are bad, egoistic, it will never get better. This is entirely incongruent with reality and gross, since it bereaves children, youth and adults from hope and trust in positive change. And positive change towards non-violence, peace, democracy and co-creative thriving societies has been enormous compared to the 1920.

Scandinavian societies first set out on this path (take the example of sex education at school; they introduced it in the 1950s, many countries don’t have it today) and the results show across the board – it generates gender equality, civil discourse, democracy, low criminal violence, low police violence (= societal peace), and based on this inner peace, a heightened state of creativity, collaboration and thereby also a thriving economy. The experience and trust in common achievements also opens the mind to co-creative innovation and evolution of society.

But what is different from the 1920?

To understand societal progress, it is necessary to know what life in the family was like in the 1920s (which is very well documented and grandparent generations can affirm it, but everybody is hush-hush about it … maybe because no elderly politicians and political parties dare state this inconvenient truth about their senior citizens’ childhood and the results …)

… and that much that was common back then is entirely unimaginable to 99% of today’s population, except for psychopaths. 

Robin even shows us how children were treated 2,000 years back, and it is plain horror. This horror in childhood never healed and naturally translated into violent, cruel adult behavior. This is not oversimplified, it is simple as that.

1. Behavioral science proves it. There has been extensive research on how it was possible that well educated, cultured Germans committed the exxtreme atrocities against neighbors, their population and neighboring countries’ populations. One finding stood out:

  • the people that murdered Jews and others had experienced physical and psychological violence in childhood
  • the people that said you can’t do that, but stayed passive and did not help had experienced psychological violence in childhood
  • the people that helped Jews and others, also in danger of their own lives, had experienced neither physical nor psychological violence in childhood

It is important to understand what violence meant in the 1920s when it was common to have a whip at home to “discipline” the woman and when the second most popular book in sales after the Bible was an education book that consulted that “children shall be silent in terror when the father enters the room”, and Robin adds that even thinking how sickening it is to think of how such fear was to be induced in children as young as two or three years of age. Already the Prussian “education bible” of 1899 recommended “to beat out evil from baby infants with a stick”. Also, the family honor was smeared when a son did not choose to voluntarily and happily die for the Fatherland, which at the time meant to be cut into pieces or burned into ashes and goo in the trenchees. All this was not limited to Germany, but common in all Western Europe, after 1,000 years of quasi slavery and monarchy, which is a totalitarian dictatorship in the hands of a small, entitled “superior” bloodline.

Today, however, such views of patriotic honor and of violence against children are unimaginable to populations of Western Europe.

Not all parts of the world have gone through this transformation. Many are still monarchies and dictatorships. In the case of Egypt, for example (a totalitarian empire for 70,000 years), the National Institute of Health in Alexandria states that 1 in 4 children have experienced “parental discipline” that resulted in broken bones, concussion or lifelong handicap. The same country’s population continues to cut off parts of the vagina (80+% of FGM according to UNICEF data) for reasons of “honor” despite it being banned by a fatwa as a sacriledge against God by the council of Muslim scholars (cf. “The Golden Book”, Target Human Rights). Unfortunately, religious conviction does not keep parents from harsh cruel violence against the children. In fact, studies show the contrary; religious families use harsher psychological and physical violence than non-religious families.

2. Brain science proves it : stress, fear and violence influence the brain with a constant release of cortisol and hamper the development of the 10 empathy centres in the frontal cortex, programming the person to a state of lack of empathy and tendency for aggression. Fortunately, science also proves that this can be healed through nurturing release of oxytocin – for feelings of love and bliss – not for a quick fix or kick, but prolongued by self-paced practices.

The message is clear.

Also for life at school, where daily atmosphere is often coined by distrust and fear of grades, teachers, violent peers (now you know the reasons behind it, and their to-do) … all of which reduces learning ability, since learning works best in a state free from fear. This defines everybody’s academic performance and next 50 professional years, which is reason enough to formulate a right to a learning culture free from fear.

Whatever justification, be it life circumstances like poverty, parents’ exhaustion, a need for discipline in groups at school, be it ideology or religion (which is meant to be a path of enlightenment to embody divine qualities of peace, love and joy, not the opposite) – any justification and practice of violence, threat and subjugation gets the individual down “towards inner hell” and charges the individual with violence that will later be unleashed in one form or another, once this victim enters a position of power over others.

This solid proof and knowledge makes Robin a treasure for all those seeking to strengthen their conviction and work in the fields of parenting, school, children, non-violence and more.

TOPICS

childhood

parenting

brain science

violence

peace

PREPARATION

View the video above, you can form teams that take on parts and then report essential information to the group – include pictures, screenshots – preferably keeping this micro exhibit up for some weeks, so the knowledge sticks. It’s precious!

ACTIONS

Converse.

  • What priorities for a peaceful, thriving, sustainable family, society and future do we deduct from Robyn’s talk?
  • Do people that consider themselves good parents, teachers, friends, religious practitioners (think of shame, forced schooling…), media makers live by the proven principles that nurture peace?
  • What forms of psychological and physical violence do children experience in the home and beyond? How does it differ in various societal groups and “class”?
  • What needs to get improved in specific societal groups and spaces and spheres, such as schools, media, others … ?

What steps can be taken to reach into those spheres?

 

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FOLLOW-UP

Well, the mission is

  • practice it in your own life
  • practice it consciously in class, at school; Lifestyle Challenges like 4 weeks of “no cussing”, “peacemaking”, “free hugs” can strongly contribute
  • spread it in society
  • spread it to crisis areas

… follow your inspiration, vividly document, share with us!

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