HealthCommentary

Exploring Human Potential

DAILY CHOICE: Non-Violent vs. Violent

Non-Violent vs. Violent

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REFLECTION:

When entering battle against an evil foe, one should be fortified and well-armed. The battle can be engaged directly, weapons against weapons, and in this case the victory goes to the more prepared in arms and skills. But history has proven just as often that good people, who stand for what is right and solidly resist what is wrong, have power to oppose, to strike and heal in single measure through some mysterious nonviolent conversion. If we humans are prejudiced toward war, we are equally prejudiced toward peace. We know the price of violence, and its unequal tool on our most vulnerable – the young, the poor, and poorly educated. We know as well, that after the embers of fiery violence slowly fade, goodness will be discovered, alive and dead, on both sides. But dead men are forever gone. They cannot be recovered. The sacrifice complete, is one-way, no return. So if you are to go that way, be sure it’s worth it, that no other method can provide. What we battle for is conquest and control of outer things. What we sacrifice and sometimes lose forever are inner things. Was it worth it? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Violence does violence to both winner and loser. We are what we become. So be cautious. To paraphrase one soul, better to plan than plot, better to build and bind than burn and bomb, better to love than hate, better to advance the cause of justice than trap us in an unjust status quo. Violence is at times required, but not with the frequency we use it. Non-violence can be equally powerful and just but not without practice.

MUSES:

Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon. It is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die.
Jean-Paul Sartre

What the hell difference does it make, left or right? There were good men lost on both sides.
Brendan Behan

War would end if the dead could return.
Stanley Baldwin

The world would be a safer place,
If someone had a plan, before exploring Outer Space,
To find the Inner Man.
E.Y. Harburg

Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.
Genesis 9:6

When evil men plot, good men must plan. When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind. When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love. When evil men would seek to perpetuate an unjust status quo, good men must seek to bring into being a real order of justice.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

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