Are you an advocate for non-violence? Do I commit on a daily basis to non-violence in my life? It is fitting that the International Day of Non-Violence be celebrated on the birthday of Mohandas Gandhi who was born October 2, 1869. Bestowed the title of Mahatma (a person who is revered and respected) he led to the independence of India from British rule by mass non-violent civil disobedience.
Concurrently reported on the same news page which tells of Gandhi and today’s celebration of non-violent actions to confront the world’s affinity for violence, is an account of a national leader suggesting in a private meeting with aides that the immigration “problem” could be resolved by “shooting them in the legs” or “topping a 2000 mile electrified border wall with flesh piercing spikes.” MSN NEWS
We can only hope that this account of the President’s words were a summary of foolish and facetious statements by one who attempts to lead by division and fear. Other actions and speech, however, confirm that our nation is not governed by policies of non-violence. Peace through enforced powers of violence is not what Gandhi had in mind when crusading for independence from Britain. It is an unsustainable truce in which the oppressed must submit to an oppressor.
Who is my personal oppressor? Yours? What inner powers keep us from knowing peace? What violence do we inflict upon our souls? Perhaps the most significant factor in world-wide violence is absence of self-love. No, not talking about ego and its deceptive need for attention, rather, the realization that compassion and tolerance of others begins with an attitude of compassion and tolerance for me. I MUST LOVE ME BEFORE I CAN LOVE OTHERS.
Are you a movie fan or prime time TV viewer? Ever question the need for all the blood and violence being shoved into your head? Yes, it gets terrific ratings above and beyond any ratings SOUND OF MUSIC or I LOVE LUCY would garner. But, it shows a complete absence of reverence for life. Self-love and non-violence begin in a place of reverence for all life, all creation, all races, all tribes, all creeds, all religions, all lifestyles. Doesn’t mean I need to understand or agree with your choices, but I must respect your right to live your choices. Namaste, my fellow earthlings. Have a blessed INTERNATIONAL DAY OF NON-VIOLENCE.