We are all grieving yet another school shooting in America and perhaps Gandhi’s powerful example so long ago can help us to see a way forward towards a more peaceful world. Yes, maybe the laws must change, but before that will happen, people’s hearts have to reject hatred and open to Love..
I wrote this piece fa few weeks ago for The Wellness Universe, who published it today.
We teach history as a sequence of victories and defeats in wars and accept the strange idea that “to the victor should go the spoils.” Really? We don’t put up with that idea in kindergarteners, so why do we put up with it as nations? We get into the same tit-for-tat traps as adolescent gangs. Maybe they learned it from US.
A Culture of Peace
Gandhi taught his followers that if they hate the conditions and policies leading to their suffering, they should turn their anger to nonviolent action to change them. They should NOT however hate the (mistaken or misled) people who create, believe in or carry out those policies, or be willing to harm them or let them come to harm.
“You can kill me, but you can’t make me hate you.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Thus, you can hate racism, for example, and work to end it, without hating or being willing to harm the racist in any way, even in your thoughts – and even be willing to protect and defend the racist from one of your own.
This is a difficult discipline. What courage would it take to Love people you view as enemies; to befriend them while working to change their hearts?
Gandhi sincerely befriended his opponents. He awakened their consciences to the deeper truths of life, as an act of Love. Some became his lifelong friends.
What truths am I speaking of? The ones taught by every single religion everywhere. Pope Francis has been teaching them everywhere just this past week:
Every member of the human family has inherent, sacred value and is equally beloved by God. So, Love your neighbor as yourself.
Gandhi awakened the conscience of the World!
Here is just part of what Gandhi’s Love Force has really won, both in Gandhi’s time and later.
Indian Independence from British colonial rule,
Global support for equality and human rights; even a UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights.
A changed global conversation about domination, power and violence in human relationships, even relationships between the sexes.
Global actions against human slavery, extreme poverty, preventable disease, etc.
Read the full piece here, The Power of Love in Social Action,
What small contribution can YOU make to nonviolence today? A day at a time, a step at a time, a heart at a time, we can live in peace.
,I wrote this piece for The Wellness Universe, where we are celebrating the UN International day of Peace with 20 beautiful and powerful FB Posters. Please consider sharing one of them or using them as inspiration to write your own piece on nonviolence.