“Nonviolence is a form of protection”–Daily Metta

July 17:

gandhi-21“I believe in the sovereign rule of love which makes no distinctions.”

–Gandhi (Harijan, May 25, 1947)

[This post is a continuation of July 15 and July 16]

Working with Gandhi, Sushila Nayar became intimately in touch with her fear–learning how and when to heed its warnings and how to overcome its promptings when she could see that it served herself and others to do so. She said, for instance, that in her experience with Gandhi, simply being in his presence made her feel secure.  Nayar was not a fearful person by any means; she was rather brave by anyone’s standards, and Gandhi’s influence on her encouraged her to face challenging situations even when she was alone. For example, she was willing to go to places where people might be hostile to her, alone, and offer her services as a medical doctor in the spirit of seeking communal harmony.  This includes the time when she was sent to Noakhali, the location of very brutal fighting between Hindus and Muslims.  At first she was quite afraid, being a woman alone, in a place where women had recently seen severe attacks and Hindu homes had been burnt down. But walking around with fear in her heart, she reasoned, did not make her feel any safer. She decided instead to begin putting her trust in people.   Whoever would come to her for her services she would not fear but trust them as a conscious tactic to overcome the latent fear in her heart. When she did this, she remembers, “they became as protective towards me as if I were their own daughter or sister.”

Nonviolence, it appears, can be its own protection.


Experiment in Nonviolence:

Reflect on a time when nonviolence helped you to face a fear with positive results.