UK Riots – Teenagers and Youth having Fun in Violence and Looting – 10 Aug 11

In the last days, the riots in London and other cities in Great Britain have of course been a big topic on the news all over the world. It started in London and then spread over the country. After the death of man in Tottenham, the riots started as protest against police or government. It turned however when more and more young people and many teenagers joined the mob. They walked through the cities in the night and started wildly damaging shops, setting cars and houses on fire, breaking windows and stealing whatever they could get out of shops. Eye witnesses of different cities tell how they saw young children in between the age of 10 to 17 among the rioters and looters. They don’t do it to protest against the police, they are having fun!

When I read this, I have to wonder how these children and teenagers think that this is fun. They are not really criminal people. They don’t have a history of crime with the police, many of those who have been arrested are in touch with the police for the first time. How come they go out in the night and start robbing stores, walking around in town, laughing and shouting in the midst of chaos?

Some time ago I wrote about video games and asked my friends what they thought of video games and violence. Several of my friends did not agree with my point of view that violent video games encourage violence in real life. They argued that it was fiction, an unreal world, and children have an outlet for their anger and violence by shooting others on the screen. They told me this would prevent them from being violent in real life. I cannot really agree when I see what is going on in Great Britain right now.

I know many will not agree with me now, if I say that those violent video games have encouraged teenagers to participate in the riots in the UK. I believe however that those video games taught the children that violence and rioting is fun! They see what is happening and they feel that this is their chance to go out and have some real fun, not only on screen! They can now, in the anonymity of the crowd, go out and break or steal other people’s property. It is not anymore only a video game, it has become a real game! They feel secure when they are in a group and are out of control. They are not afraid of the police or legal punishment, although the government does whatever they can.

My problem is not the video games. I am not fond of sitting in front of a screen with a fictive world, playing games, but if people like it, I don’t mind. What I mind though is that violence is enhanced and advocated through video games. Why do these games teach that violence, beating, murder and more is fun? They learned how it should look like when you break into a store and when they see that it works, they get greedy and steal mobile phones, game consoles, electronics and more. I think violent video games have encouraged teenagers to see this all as fun! The makers of these games are also responsible for the attitude that such violence and destruction could be fun and an enjoyable thing to do.

Another very important thought is this: what about the parents? Where are they? What do they think their children are doing outside in the middle of the night? Are they unaware that their teenage kids are committing such crimes? It seems like in movies or books where the author has created a world where children take over control. Don’t these parents have any influence on their children? It is very shocking to see that obviously many parents are not able or don’t care to keep their children away from rioting!

Violence has become fun for many. It is not about political statements or giving a message to police and government. It is fun for them. How did we let this happen?

Teenagers killed in Oslo by Christian Fundamentalist Anders Behring Breivik – What now? – 25 Jul 11

On Friday, news reached the whole world about a horrible event in Norway’s capital Oslo. A bomb in the middle of the town and a shooting on an island afterwards killed more than 90 people. This number is currently at 93 but still rising as many people remain missing, who may be dead and others lay injured in hospitals, still at the risk of their lives.

These news shocked the world. We often hear of terrorist attacks in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Iraq or Iran. This bombing and shooting took place in Norway though! This Scandinavian country is a generally peaceful country and has not seen this kind of violence since World War II! Of course people were shocked and the first suspicion on everybody’s mind was that it was a terrorist group, such as the Taliban, some fundamentalist Muslims who are fighting their Jihad. People got nearly used to this explanation whenever something tragic like this happens.

When the truth made news around the world, it shocked everyone even more: it had been a local man! One man, planting a bomb and then shooting more than 80 people, most of them between 16 and 22 years old! His name is Anders Behring Breivik. His family is in shock, too, as we all are. He started shooting in a political gathering, in the youth camp of a party and when the teenagers and young adults ran away, he chased them, shooting them down. The only word that comes into my mind in answer is just: sick.

The reason however is again similar to the terrorist attacks we have experienced in the past. With one difference: now we have a Christian fundamentalist with anti-Islamic sentiments. Again, religion is the reason, mixed with politics. He was arrested and his statement is that his actions were cruel but necessary. He believes there needs to be a revolution and if he had not started this massacre, nobody would ever have known about his ideas. He wrote a 1500 page manifesto about his ideas, political and religious. On his Twitter page one could find only one message: "One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests".

Anders Behring Breivik does not feel guilty. Neither do Islamic terrorists. There is not really any difference. Christianity, a religion that emphasizes altruism and charity towards others also has sick followers, just as every other religion. He was against immigrants and foreigners in his country, a right-wing extremist, nationalist, fundamentalist. These ideas in his mind justify killing innocent children.

We need to see that these ideas and this hate can grow in any society and wherever there are people who are not tolerant and who support this feeling of hate and violence towards others. There are people in every country and in every culture who have such ideas, who are extremists and fundamentalists. This man wrote that he spent a whole year of his life intensively playing war games, violent video games. He had a complete plan of action, posting pictures like the one above online beforehand so that the media could easily find them and enough information about him. He has learned the violence through such games and must have had enough input of hate against others to do this. He killed so many young people, only because they belonged to a party that supports immigration and living together with people of other nations and belief.

Today he will speak in court about his reasons for this attack. He has told the world before, though, that he does not feel guilty. What will happen now? How will the society react? This event should make government, media and the public aware that there are extremists and such ideas everywhere and everybody should be responsible for discouraging any similar views in order to avoid similar events in future.

My heart goes out to the families and friends of the victims, to those who have been injured and hurt and to the whole Norwegian nation. The children whom he killed may have had many dreams for their life which lay in front of them. He destroyed them violently and with full awareness. And why? For religion and politics. Do we really still need religion, seeing the effects it has?

We have to keep on working on spreading love and making people understand that there is no reason, religious, political or personal, that justifies such violence. Let your children grow up without learning violence in video games. Teach them instead to play with each other, not against each other. Show them that a child of another nation and maybe with another language is just as valuable as they are themselves. Send your love towards those who suffer now because of one violent and hating man. Pray for them and also him to find peace.

Video Games cannot be Your Answer to Boredom – 14 Dec 10

When we were writing about video games, I asked Ramona ‘Why do people actually play all these games? I don’t understand it!’ She replied ‘Well, you wouldn’t have any time for that either.’ But even if I had time, I would not like to play any of those games. Obviously not any game including violence, shooting and killing but I have also seen games where you are a character and collect things in a fictional world. I just don’t understand what I would get from this. Am I just not bored enough of life to do this?

I don’t watch TV either. I never felt the need of any different world than the one that I am in. People often tell me that they need those things, a movie or a game, so that they can forget their world and enter another one, the world of that fictional character. There are two main reasons why people do this: they are bored and don’t know how else to kill time or they want to forget their own problems.

If you play video games or watch TV because you are bored, I would really recommend you to open your eyes and have a look at reality. See how many things are going on around you! What you see in TV is inspired by reality but it is not real! The miracles of reality can be found in real life and the beautiful thing is, you can actually experience them. Sitting in front of TV for boredom truly only kills time but doesn’t make boredom go away. You will switch off the TV and still be bored.

If you have problems, I can only say that fleeing in another world doesn’t help. Do you believe your problems will just vanish? Simply be gone if you go somewhere else for a few hours? You try to switch off your mind by watching TV, watching something that is very far away from your own life so that you don’t have to think of all its complications. It doesn’t work like this. You have to face your problems. If you only have stress, you should find other ways to get out of it. Physical exercise or meditation are very good for stress management. And if you have other problems: solve them instead of suppressing them. Accept them and work on them. Mostly they are not as bad as you think.

If you now think that you really only play video games for entertainment, think of all the other great things you could do in that time! You could play with your children, visit your parents, have a talk with a friend, revive an old friendship or make a new one, work in the garden, paint, make music, do sports… I can find hundreds of things that in my opinion are much more useful than any video game.

If it relaxes you, fine. If it makes your stress go away, fine. If it in some way is useful to you, fine. But most of the times I see that this is not at all like this. People get irritated and more stressed because hours have passed by so quickly, they get headaches, backaches and they are more tensed because their brain was the entire time busy working with all the new information it was bombarded with.

If you find yourself in this description and think now ‘actually I know this all’, then please start living it. Your life and time is worth a lot, so please spend it happily and in full consciousness of what you are doing. Stay with us in this world and enjoy reality.

A Beautiful Video Game – Teach Love and Compassion – 12 Dec 10

I meet a lot of parents here in the West who of course want to show their children a good way of living. They want to teach them love and peace, they want to teach them how to solve conflicts peacefully and they want them to live in happiness and satisfaction. They often try to protect their children from the bad things that happen in this world because they don’t want them to live with the energy of violence and hate in their minds.

Sometimes however they see what their children do the whole day and they realize that the movies that their children watch on TV are full of fights and wars. They watch exactly those things that their parents want to protect them from! And even worse – in video games they even play being the one who is shooting and killing others! They watch how their own child pretends to be a murderer, how their child starts thinking and acting like a criminal in order to solve the video game. Some children even get addicted to these games!

The parents see this violence. It hurts them but they find themselves unable to help and unable to change anything. They think about how much TV they allow their children and how many video games. They don’t want to forbid it completely because they want their child to really live in this world where violent video games exist. And even if they forbid it at home, they know that their children do the same in their friends’ houses and find it even better because they are not allowed to do this at home!

Why do those people who create the video games, the game developers and producers not make something more beautiful? Why don’t they create something that is full of love and peace? Some people may now call me flying in the skies, unrealistic and thinking with pink glasses in front of the eyes. Those who know me however know me better. I am not talking about the idea of having a video-game in which you only walk through flower gardens and sing and dance with other people who all live free and in love and peace with each other – no teenager would spend more than ten minutes with that game!

No, I am talking about a real game but in a real world, where people can make experiences in reality. Stop making games in which people shoot around in foreign worlds that don’t exist! I have the thought, why don’t you make a game where a child can discover the life of a child in India, like one of the children who come to our school? You would be the child and have dialogue with the people around you. You would see how this character lives, who the people are around him, you would go with him to school and meet his friends. This character could visit the parents at work and children would learn so much about this child’s situation – a child that is of the same age!

They would experience that this child may sometimes be hungry or not have enough clothes to wear. They would get to know how difficult it is for the family to earn their living and they would see how many people can live together in one room. What happens if the monsoon comes and the water enters your house? What happens if your father gets ill and cannot go to work and earn money for today’s food? What happens if your mother already makes plans whom you should marry? There are many conflicts, many situations that are exciting, surprising or interesting for children or teenagers and which they could explore in this way! They could be the ones finding out for this child how he or she can get out of this life and find a better way, for example through education.

Children and teenagers would have fun exploring, they would learn something and they would especially find out how well they live. They have a room full of toys and a tree under which there are dozens of gifts to unpack on Christmas. Our young ones could learn not to take this as granted. They would see what their privilege is that they can live here, in this abundance. In their heart they can develop love and compassion for children in other countries. Instead of learning hatred and violence, they would learn love and compassion.

Wouldn’t that be a beautiful video game?

Violence in Video Games: Children Kill, Murder and Rape – 12 Nov 10

Yesterday I wrote about toy weapons and how children learn to play violent games. Of course it is much the fault of TV shows, movies but also computer and video games. Electronics become more and more important to children nowadays and sometimes it seems that parents are not even aware of what their children are doing when they sit in front of the computer.

In the last years I already wrote about violent video games that made teenagers run amok, shooting around in their schools and killing teachers and students. Sadly this is the extreme consequence of letting children play such games. There are so many different games in which they play war, very graphically displaying murder and pain. As the player you have some kind of aim, you are the superhero who has to kill all bad people, you are an emperor who has to take over alien territory and kill former inhabitants, you are a fighter for good and sometimes you are even a fighter for evil. In most of those games you walk around and beat up or shoot others.

There is a very popular game on social networking sites like facebook of which I read an advertisement once: ‘Kill some time – Mafia Wars’. Why do we need to make children addicted to virtually getting illegal money, fame for being cruel and killing others?

Is this really something that should be made that much easily available to our youth? Is it at all necessary to ‘play murdering’, to ‘play war’? Why do such games get developed at all? Don’t those people who are behind that see that it will increase aggression and violence in our society? A child, with a mind that still learns from every impulse that it gets, sees only hurt, pain, blood and death! If you sit several hours in front of a screen, solving every problem that comes in front of you with violence, wouldn’t you think that violence is the solution for every problem? Where does this lead our world?

When I wrote about this previously, one of my readers pointed my attention to a new kind of game, something that I had never heard of and of which I wish that most people in this world will never even hear of: rape video games. It started in Japan where they developed the first of such video games in which you play a character that has to rape women and girls in order to get to the goal of the game. It is called ‘Rapelay’ and includes molesting and groping up to complete rape. I have never heard of anything more disgusting and horrible.

I hope my readers are just as shocked as I was when I read about these games and I just want to say again: don’t let your child play anything violent! A rape game is one of the next steps for those who get bored with the usual action games, for those who want more than just killing and murdering. If we make our youth think that violence and rape is something normal, something that you can play with, we can only imagine how the future of this planet will look like! Do not encourage or support any such video games and limit the time of your child in front of the computer or game console! They may not like it at that moment but it is the best thing that you can do for their and our all future!

Children in India Playing with Simple Toys – 12 Apr 09

Today I was sitting on the swing in the hall of the Ashram and watched the children for a while. Kanu and his two younger brothers Suraj and Chotu, Krishna and Vrinda were playing. And watching them I felt how this is making me happy. Watching this game just gives the feeling of peace and love. They do not play with great toys or anything like video games. No, for them it is enough that there is an empty box in which they can crawl in, a few empty plastic bottles which make noise when they bang them on the floor and a chair onto which they can climb and from which they can jump down. It is so simple and yet they are busy with these few things for several hours.

Here I feel how simple life can be. It is just our mind, our imagination and our fantasy which creates our world. How do we want to live? Do we want to make our mind so busy that we cannot enjoy these moments anymore? Be free like these children, enjoy your life like they do and trust in God who will provide everything for you that you need.

Do not let your Child play violent Video Games! – 14 Mar 09

Yesterday I talked about ‘sports’ which are very aggressive and with which children get the impression that violence is fun. Wrestling, about which I was talking yesterday, is a whole setup of aggression and especially teenagers watch these programs in TV. Then there are video games which are even more violent. And then you wonder why young people are violent and aggressive? Why do they show this in television? Our youth and our children are watching this and it is supported by government?

I want to ask people to avoid this kind of television program and discourage their children from watching it or playing video games like that. Please do not buy or give it to your children! TV companies and government might not forbid these games and shows because of the money and business they have with it but you can avoid them! Government does not feel responsible for this harm that is caused by these games and the TV series but we are responsible for our children and their actions because we plant the seeds which will grow and result in what they do! We might not be able to change the government and the TV shows but I want to invite all parents not to buy and not to support it! If society doesn’t change in this way, these incidents can happen again and again.

Violent Video-Games and Overweight Children – 9 Jul 08

Yesterday I wrote about problems that children have nowadays among others because of video games and too much time in front of TV. This lifestyle of sitting in front of a screen for many hours each day, not moving much and even eating while watching TV is also responsible for the high amount of obese children. They do not move much but sit there and if there is anything around like chips and other snacks, it is easy to just take a handful and put it in the mouth. It is easy to eat in this way without even realizing that you eat. The mind is busy and somehow the body wants to have some action, too. So what can you do at the same time? Right, you can eat. Of course, advertisement of food increases appetite and makes you feel like eating what you see.

In Munich a girl was there for a healing session and her parents asked me what to do about her overweight. I told them that Yashendu will do a kind of a workshop or a course for overweight children together with our friend Sonja Kling from Erkelenz. In August they will spend one week together in a group and show the children what they can do during the day, what a good rhythm of eating is, which food is healthy and how they can lose weight. This will help a lot of children to find a healthy way of spending the day.

Movies and TV shows also influence your mind, just be aware of that. And again I want to ask the parents one thing: please take care what your children are watching and what kind of video game they are playing. I feel there is a lot of violence in movies and very much violence in video games. Many of these games even have the goal to fight, to be aggressive and even to kill.

What do you think that a child, whose mind is not fully developed yet, will think of this world? Children learn so much from how the people around behave. Children are watching the world and they are learning, they see what others do and they imitate it because they think, this is what they have to do. So please do not let them play violent games or let them watch this kind of movies. This energy is horrible and you let it come into your living room and into your life in this way. Many people think “it is just a game, it is not reality, he knows that” but I am sure that for a child and for a child’s mind it is not that easy to make a difference between the real life and the life which they see in TV and which looks very real.

Today we took our flight to Lithuania and were picked up by Oksana and Greg. They showed us around the city and I really like it. I also like Greg, he is a very nice man and has a great sense of humour. We had dinner in an Indian restaurant which was really great. Now after travelling we are all tired and I think I will also go to bed soon

Attention Deficit Disorder – Treat the Roots of the Problem! – 8 Jul 08

Today I was in Munich to give healing sessions. As it was the second time that Carin invited me, I already knew nearly all of my patients, except for one boy. His father had a healing session and wanted his 11-year-old son to experience this, too. The father told that there must be a blockage somewhere because the boy is in a way hyperactive and doctors had diagnosed ADD, attention deficit disorder. It is not very bad and the father trusts that the healing energy helps.

I know this problem because many parents come with their children and tell me about this disorder. Children nowadays often have problems being with only one thing, one game, one exercise or one conversation. They have at least five things in the mind at the same time. If they have to sit quiet like in school they cannot do it. They start moving on their chair, talking with others and doing a lot of different things at the same time. It is not only the school. Also at home they cannot sit still or remain with one thing that they started.

Hyperactivity and this attention deficit disorder are both treated with tranquilizers and other tablets to calm down the mind of the child. However this is only a treatment of the symptoms and many times nobody thinks of the root of this problem. Where does it come from?

We live in a time in which everything has to be fast. There is always something going on, if it is on the road with a lot of traffic, at work or in school with many people or even at home, when the TV or the radio is switched on. We create this atmosphere even at home, where it could be peaceful and quiet. This also is energy which doesn’t allow you to be calm. You want to have something going on all the time.

Another aspect is the activities that children have in the afternoon. What is the main occupation of many children? Playing video games and watching TV. Playing outside in nature or with other children does not seem to be very popular anymore. Even if kids meet they play a video game together or one against the other. These games and the TV give a lot of impressions at the same time which the brain needs to work with. It is busy all the time! It gets used to jump from one scene to another because this is what happens in the TV, this is what the eyes see. And this is what children get used to and what they also do when someone tells them to do one thing at a time: their thoughts jump from one thing to another. It is no wonder that they cannot pay proper attention on one thing.

So please, parents, if your child has ADD, a problem in concentrating or is hyperactive, have a look on what he or she does during day. You can limit the children’s time in front of TV or computer and play with them or let them play with each other instead. They can go out and also play with neighbours. This will also improve their social life, they will make friends and their minds can calm down in a natural way.

Tomorrow I will write the diary from Vilnius in Lithuania. We were invited by my friend Oksana and her boyfriend Greg. This will be my first trip to Lithuania and I am looking forward to it