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Keywords:

  • violence;
  • genocide;
  • mass killing;
  • terrorism;
  • ideology;
  • healing;
  • reconciliation;
  • inclusive caring in children;
  • human needs;
  • culture change;
  • peace

Some conditions in the lives of children, adults, and groups can be construed as fulfilling universal human psychological needs. The constructive fulfillment of these basic needs promotes caring and positive, helpful relations; their frustration creates an inclination toward hostility and aggression. The article describes diverse influences that can lead to violence between individuals, groups, and societies, as well as ways to halt and prevent genocide, mass killing, and other intergroup violence, including terrorism, in part by fostering culture changes that promote harmony and peace. Ideally such culture change would involve healing from past wounds, the creation of positive (rather than destructive) ideologies, supportive communities, reconciliation and the creation of a shared collective memory, education that promotes peace, and the development of inclusive caring in children. The article also refers to work in Rwanda that aims to foster healing and reconciliation, in part by helping people understand the roots of violence and its implication for prevention. Societies and families that help to fulfill basic needs promote goodness as well as optimal human functioning—the continued growth and development of individuals.