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Nonviolent Activists

For those who follow the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi on nonviolence.

Location: Worldwide
Members: 53
Latest Activity: Jan 16

Discussion Forum

the happenings in the Mid-East 3 Replies

Started by Pat Crepeau. Last reply by Connie Odessa Muldrow Mar 1, 2011.

Season for Non Violence and Peace - 2010 1 Reply

Started by Elizabeth Anne Edwards. Last reply by Elizabeth Anne Edwards Apr 3, 2010.

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Comment by ben qufa on September 23, 2009 at 4:54pm
I am awed by the impact that Gandhi & King have had & continue to have on people throughout the world.

I am only able to reach out to one young person at a time. Although I support my local Peace group, I find it as an important 2 dimenensional
effort. My photo-collages document local efforts of groups that help with homelessness, immigrant issues, etc.
The third dimension is my reaching out to a young person who expresses a thirst for understanding the world that they may feel trapped in. I'm not a therapist or other professional...just a guy who has seen how ignorance can be turned into understanding and peaceful activism.
For example, I recently Imparted a nonviolent way of vocally responding to taunting or other verbal abuse, to a young parolee. I had attended a Peace group's fund raiser & heard a speaker respond to a question about his method of verbally disarming anti-peace heckler.
The next day I listened to my young friend describe an incident from his
night out.
Determined to improve his life, he listened to my tip, and thanked me. it was a pivotal time in our budding friendship.
One step at a time ..one brick at a time taken from the wall of hate & fear, is my way.
Please keep the comments and actions .. we can all learn...it takes a few seconds at a time.
Comment by Macomb Jess on September 17, 2009 at 11:44pm
I think, too, that we need to remember that sustainable change has to come from within, as much as we want to "make it happen" - yes, we are all global citizens, but at some point, those in conflict must decide that they must make peace (and, it does eventually happen). As an anthropologist, I come across this in my research into development (and particularly notions of female "empowerment) - the bottom-up desire must be there...but, that in no way means that we cannot help bring that desire to fruition or stand in solidarity with those who are working to meet that goal!
Comment by Megan Argo on September 17, 2009 at 1:40pm
we do have the power of change. perfection is not the deciding factor - i think it's the courage to challenge current paradigms and learn as we go . . . connect with like minded peacemakers . . . and do the best we can to be the change.
the thing that motivates me most about gandhi is his humility and own recognition of his imperfection. my sense is that he found himself intimately connected with the best and the worst traits of humanity precisely because of his awareness that both of these extremes dwelled within him.
it is in this awareness of imperfection in all of us that is the fertile ground for us to connect, to forgive, to work towards common ground. that connection with even the most imperfect aspects of the humanity is the only place where i believe we can find peace. the illusion of perfection in any one place is just another illusion that divides us.
Comment by Megan Argo on September 17, 2009 at 1:22pm
totally agreed. in the end, violence to combat violence is never beneficial, and never wins. whether we go in with guns or go in with aid, the same risks are endured. if we go in with non-violent resistance we have a real chance of beneficial change. we can be the change we want to see, and have a real chance of bringing about that change to non-violence.
the small line between the two approaches that you point out seems to be the hidden but incredibly important point of all this. how do we get that truth out there? to me that seems to be the heart of turning this truth into action.
a misconception that we need to violently fight violence seems to be the undercurrent that keeps our present culture of violence moving. how do we challange that misconception on a large scale? show people that there is more courage, less risk and a greater chance of success in non-violent resistance than in violent opposition?
Comment by Macomb Jess on September 17, 2009 at 1:00pm
I think that we have to strive, as peace activists, to make the non-violent resistance/actions seem to be more beneficial than violence to those that are weighing the choices. I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with former militants (now non-violent peace activists) in different conflicts, and these discussion were very enlightening as to what a small line there is between choosing one or the other. We need to make peace be the beneficial option, and violence the losing option.
Comment by Megan Argo on September 17, 2009 at 10:55am
i've been reading an awesome book on Gandhi and it got me thinking about the way that we deal with international instability. clearly we shouldn't sit by unaffected as horrible things happen in other parts of the world. but the current reaction of our gov't to send in troops never has and never will bring the true healing needed in these parts of the world.
the money and lives we put at risk could be so much more valuable if we were sending them in aid, not war. there are so many courageous people who are called to serve and go to places of unrest in the world, and if they were offering food, healing, love - wouldn't their lives and missions be more meaningful? . . . but we only send troops.
i picture a powerful movement of non-violent aid in these parts of the world. peaceful warriors sent from around the world with the courage to see deep into the cause of the violence, the pain expressed through violence, the unmet needs crying out to be seen. social scientists, psychologists, healers - loving beings and their protectors on a crusade of healing rather than one of more violence.
we'll never ever kill all "the bad guys" and as long as we run on a theory of good guys and bad guys we're doomed to continue the dichotomy. every "bad guy" killed has a family and loved ones who will carry on their work and message . . . we need to love those that act out in violence, not try to eliminate them. they are crying out with the pain of our world, and if we cannot listen, we cannot ever end the violence.
instead, our tax money goes to guns and prisons. every act of violence in these areas only stirs the pot, adding more violence to an already unstable area. every weapon that comes in just raises the potential for greater violence in an area where we need less guns, not more. every tortured soul coming in just heightens the conflict and violence that is possible.
i pray that our reactions to international conflict shift from sending in troops, to sending aid. from sending weapons, to sending food. only then do we have a real chance of helping these situations and hearing what craves to be heard at their core. instead, when we send troops i fear that we only escalate and shift the focus of the violence.
i realize that i'm probably stating the obvious, especially to a group interested in non-violence, but sometimes it's the obvious that eludes us the most, and saying it makes it all feel more real and possible to me.
 

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