“Suspicion is of the brood of violence. Nonviolence cannot but trust.” ~ Gandhi, Young India, May 20, 1925
Nonviolence is never about changing another person directly. It’s always about changing ourselves in order to see more directly into the heart of a conflict and effect transformation there, which can, in time, change others. Truth be told, we simply can’t get to the root of conflict if our hearts and minds are agitated. We can get there with a higher image of others and ourselves, an image that interestingly enough, satiates a part of our minds. Living in a state of agitation, such as of paranoia, of suspicion, is only possible when we hold others in low esteem or feel that we ourselves are violating some rule or law, and are therefore afraid of the consequences—in other words, hatred and fear rule the day. In nonviolence we have to have trust in ourselves first. We have to see that whatever others offer us, we have the inner tools to take it on. These of course need to be systematically developed. Not surprisingly, Gandhi’s call to trust actually requires quite a bit of effort.
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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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