“Facing Provocation”–Daily Metta

February 1

2014-06-21-23.53.00“Victory is impossible until we are able to keep our temper under the gravest provocation.”

–Gandhi (Young India, 8-25-1921)

In the summer of 2014, my colleagues from the Metta Center and I visited a village in the occupied West Bank of Palestine, At-Tuwani. From within this impoverished village of sheep herders has sprung some of the most hopeful stories of resistance to the cruelty of the settlements around their village (children have to be accompanied to school in order to be saved from physical attack, including bullets, from extremists from the neighboring, and illegal, settlement). We were welcomed in the home of Hafez (pictured left) who is considered to be one of the “Gandhis of Palestine.” He told us that for those living in his village, the formula is simple: “existence is resistance.”

Hafez took us on a short tour of this ancient town early one morning. The soil was rocky, sheep were roaming, and large, flat, round bread was cooking. He pointed to a village across the hill. The village did not have electricity, although At-Tuwani did. They built them a tower to receive electricity, and it was destroyed by the Israeli military overnight. My colleague Michael pointed out, “They were trying to provoke you into violence.” Hafez paused, as though searching for a moment, and looked at us with fire and determination in his eyes, “they will never provoke me into violence.”  Victory belongs to Hafez.


Experiment in Nonviolence:

Take a training in nonviolence that teaches you how to maintain nonviolent discipline in the face of violent provocation.


Daily Metta 2015, a service of the Metta Center for Nonviolence, is a daily reflection on the strategic and spiritual insights of Mahatma Gandhi in thought, word and deed. As Gandhi called his life an “experiment in truth,” we have included an experiment in nonviolence to accompany each Daily Metta. Check in every day for new inspiration. Each year will be dedicated to another wisdom teacher.