Tag Archives: human nature

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… read more

“Reframing Masculinity”–Daily Metta

December 7: “Human nature will only find itself when it fully realizes that to be human it has to cease to be brutal.” –Gandhi (Harijan, October 8, 1938) Almost everywhere we go, masculinity and violence tend to be conflated. This violence is toward oneself, in so far as “manly” often means shutting oneself off from… read more

“The Abbot and the Sword”–Daily Metta

October 7: “A man of faith will remain steadfast to truth, even though the whole world might appear to be enveloped in falsehood.” –Gandhi (Harijan, September 22, 1946) ‘Steadfastness to truth’ is another way to say ‘Satyagraha,’ almost a literal translation from the Sanskrit. When Gandhiji maintains that it is a person “of faith” who… read more

“People can change for the better”–Daily Metta

September 20: “My faith in human nature is irrepressible and even under the circumstances of a most adverse character.” –Gandhi (Young India, January 1, 1920) Faith in human nature sounds naive and foolish. But why should it be? For those who long for a nonviolent alternative to our educational, political, and even criminal justice systems,… read more

“Hidden depths of nonviolence”–Daily Metta

September 19 “I am but a humble explorer of the science of nonviolence. Its hidden depths sometimes stagger me just as much as they stagger my fellow-workers.” –Gandhi (Young India, November 20 1924) To explore the science of nonviolence is more than a study of books or movements.  When you get down to it, really,… read more

“Debunking innate aggression”–Daily Metta

June 19: “No one should dogmatize about the capacity of human nature for degradation or exaltation.” –Gandhi (Mahatma, Vol. V, April, 1940) Human beings are naturally violent. It’s our nature. We’ve all heard this a time or two. It’s called “innate aggression theory,” the school of popular psychology that maintains that human beings are just… read more

“Ahimsa is the highest ideal”–Daily Metta

June 17: “Ahimsa is the highest ideal.” –Gandhi (Harijan, June 9, 1940) Ahimsa is an ancient Sanskrit term and virtue that roughly translates to “the negation of the desire or intent to harm or kill.” Gandhi went so far as to assert that it–and not violence–is the law of humanity. Our capacity to endure and… read more

Seville Statement on Violence, Spain, 1986

This important document created with help from UNESCO in Seville in 1986 addresses the scientific inaccuracies of the “innate aggression” theorists. *** Believing that it is our responsibility to address from our particular disciplines the most dangerous and destructive activities of our species, violence and war; recognizing that science is a human cultural product which… read more