People are challenging the principles of nonviolence. They tell us nonviolence has failed. And at first glance it would be easy to agree.
It could be easy to believe that our nature is violent. Yet if that were true how were Gandhi, Mandela and King able to find their way out of violence?
I am of the firm belief that if one of us can do this we can all do it. If one of us can move to a higher vision of humanity then that is all the verification we need to try.
Nonviolence has not failed. We have failed nonviolence. We have been satisfied by saying, “There it is done,” rather than saying, “Now I must do it.”
One of the greatest deterrents to nonviolence is our need for a leader. The path to nonviolence is not an external one. It is an internal journey that does not require the influence nor the prodding of another. No one can walk for us. No one can carry us. We have failed nonviolence because we have not taken our own steps or satisfied our own soul’s search for peace. We have failed to unshackle ourselves from the compromises that make us less human.
We do not need to be rescued. We need to wake up.
The game is afoot. If we allow people to say, nonviolence is dead, then we will surely die with it. It will take great courage and clarity to navigate the waters of ignorance that we have allowed. The darkness is no longer elusive and hiding in shadows, it is readily found in our politics, in our religions, in our businesses, in our homes. Yes, in every aspect of our lives.
Perhaps it is titillating to play with fear, to be the bully, to court revenge. Perhaps centuries of greed have taken its toll on humankind.
Yet for those with the eyes to see, if not now, then when will we stand before the darkness of our nature and say unhand me.
We have failed nonviolence. But it is never too late. The path is within us and we can chose to walk it.
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Mandela
Photo compliments of Noho