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There is an old, old story told in many cultures that goes something like this:

Once there was a wise old woman who lived in a small village. One day some children in the village decided to try to fool her. They caught a small bird and, with one young boy holding it in his hands, they went to test the old woman’s wisdom. “We’ll ask her whether the bird is alive or dead,” he said. “If she says ‘alive,’ I’ll crush it on the spot. If she says ‘dead,’ I’ll open my hands and let it fly away.”

So the children went to the old woman and asked her, “Is the bird we have alive or dead?” The old woman became very still and looked thoughtfully into the boy’s eyes. “It is in your hands,” she said, “it is in your hands.”

So it is with violence, with the destruction wrought by human beings on each other. It is in our hands, it is in our hands.