Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Power of Nonviolence



The Power of Nonviolence:  

Writings by Advocates of Peace,  


Forward by Howard Zinn


Our objective in sharing, The Power of Nonviolence, is to lay the important foundation of how essential nonviolence is at promoting a cause. This book has been specifically chosen to instill the values behind how dialogue and communication can prove to be an effective tool to resist oppression. In other words, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, "Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when it helps us to see the enemy's point of view, to hear his questions, to know of his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we my indeed see the basic weaknesses of our condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition" (p. 118).  His views represents the mission of Boycott for Peace.

The main reason this quote resonates with us is that because it highlights the need to start by changing our personal belief systems, moral and norms before we seek ways to change the public to fit our own image of how the other should or should not act. This attitude reneges concepts that have pushed people to accept others based upon their willingness and abilities to accommodate, assimilate or/and transform to popular norms and morals. It does not support or promote values of like toleration and empathy that celebrate the differences in all of human creations. Self-reflection is a critical step for humans to practice if they want to achieve a level of self-realization and consciousness to deal justly with the conflicts surrounding us. 

During an interview with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the host asks him why he was concerned with  the Vietnam War that was happening on foreign soil when his focus should be on the African-American movement  His response was that solving problems through violent measures anywhere in the world does not teach the younger generations that the most "meaningful change comes through non-violent actions" (p. 114). A clear indication that not only is the status of the African-American connected to their own self-empowerment, but also with maintaining global humanity.

The Power of Nonviolence contains writing on Peace and Nonviolence from many important writers and public figures. Most of the entries are short enough to read in a sitting and make great food for thought.

Please feel free to share your comments on this book or other books on Peace Making!


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  1. From the introduction by Howard Zinn: " 'We are at war,' they said. And I thought: they have learned nothing, absolutely nothing, form the history of the twentieth century, form a hundred years of retaliation, vengeance, war, a hundred years of terrorism and counter-terrorism, of violence met with violence in an unending cycle of stupidity."

    I think this is perfectly said . . .

  2. "As long as we see the other as the antithesis/opposite of ourself humans will be living in a constant state of war because we are dealing with differences. We need to focus on the similarities between us instead of focusing on the negative aspects that divide us. On way to promote this idea oneness is to teach history in a continuous timeline rather than in centuries, periods and themes. By developing a cyclical timeline we teach the younger generations that the future builds on the present events of today and the present depends on the learning morals of the past." Unknown . . .