Despair: Daily Metta

“You must never despair of human nature.” ~ Gandhi, Harijan, November 5, 1938

This is not an utterance from an overly optimistic “saint” who knows nothing about what human beings can do to one another. Gandhi saw human violence: prejudice, beatings, mob killings, exploitation and starvation, you name it. But he understood that these atrocities take place because we despair of our nature—because we think that we are only capable of violence, because we dehumanize ourselves and others. Our capacities for nonviolence remain largely untapped—there’s potential, not despair, in that realization. In fact, despair is a luxury we cannot and must not afford.

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About Daily Metta

Book cover imageStephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence.

Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide.

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