“I will struggle so that I will either break the bonds or break myself in the effort.” ~ Gandhi, Harijan, February 10, 1946
Gandhi was asked all kinds of tough questions about putting nonviolence into action. Most questions came from a disbelief that nonviolence can really be a form of self-defense and protection. Here, someone from the Khudai Khidmatgars (Badshah Khan’s nonviolent army) spoke from experience asked him: What should we do if we are not killed but rather tied up and made to witness unspeakable violence? Here’s his full answer: “I will struggle so that I will either break the bonds or break myself in the effort. In no case will I remain a helpless witness. When that intensity of feeling is there, God will come to your aid and somehow or other spare you the agony of being a living witness to such a deed.” In short, in a situation of extreme violence, we have to resist with our entire life.
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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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