Every time I watch a Worldstar Hip Hop expose of violence, I am reminded of all the peaceful civil rights movements that gave the participants their freedom to choose their own destiny. Despite the ongoing debate about whether or not these peaceful movements were sole cause of meaningful change in America, it is undebatable that today’s violence culture is eroding away most of the benefits of this era of sacrifice. Countless men and women stood in the way of violence without giving it in return. This choice was monumental. One of the most prominent men to lose their life while adhering to the non-violent path of social change was Martin Luther King, Jr. His choice to passively resist was even more monumental to me given all he had to lose – his wife, children and the confidence of millions of Americans. Today, we choose violence for the most petty reasons and without their being even an ounce of chance that it will amount to any meaningful benefit. We choose violence when we are dissatisfied with our food service, upset because someone looked at us wrong, annoyed by someone’s appearance, unable to relate to a person’s views or behaviors, afraid our money will be short or simply bored. Too many people laid down their lives to give us the freedom to choose a purposeful life and the true path to self-worth and happiness. It’s high time that we recognize this and point it out to each other.