Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him. -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Nonviolence is both a principle and a practice. The principle of nonviolence affirms the active use of non-coercive and non-aggressive means to create a more peaceful context. It is based on the assumption that justice will eventually prevail, that choices should be made from a place of love rather than hate, that the hurtful action, not the person, should be subdued and that voluntary suffering has value as an important facet of life.
In practice, nonviolence involves ACTIVELY peaceful behavior in the midst of conflict, becoming an example of consideration to those around us and breaking the destructive cycle of retaliation when we believe we have been wronged. It also means awareness of our own inner violence, and eliminating its negative effects upon our own intentions. Applying these principles of non-violence can reduce conflict, anger and violence on personal, local, national and global levels.
Nonviolence has come to be recognized as a powerful strategy for students, communities, disenfranchised groups and whole societies in addressing and transforming conditions. During the 20th century, the successful social movements of Gandhi in India and Martin Luther King, Jr. in the United States led to the public’s realization of completely new dimensions of nonviolent conflict resolution.
For more about the influence of Gandhi on Reverend King’s philosophy of nonviolence, CLICK HERE
WHAT CAN YOU DO: NONVIOLENCE
– Engage students in one of Stanford U’s Lesson Plans about Dr.King
– Check out the National Education Association Site with lessons for K-12 related to nonviolence, civil rights, etc. CLICK HERE
– Review and discuss one or more of the Mainstreaming Nonviolence tools of Pace de Bene: CLICK HERE
– Learn about Gandhian Principles of Nonviolence: CLICK HERE
– Use one or more of the SEASON OF NONVIOLENCE ideas
Segment of the “I Have A Dream” Speech Focusing on Nonviolence
MLK: A Call to Conscience – PBS 1 hour episode examining Martin Luther King, Jr.’s stand against the Vietnam War and the influence of his legacy today – CLICK HERE.
Pace e Bene (Peace and All Good) – Campaign Nonviolence
TED Talks: Scilla Elworthy – Fighting with NonViolence