On violence in day to day living


For a long time I have thought of myself as a peaceful fellow.  I arrived at this conclusion on the basis that I have not and do not seek to inflict physical pain on any living being – human or animal.  Two days ago, I changed my view.

Two days ago I was hit with a sudden insight: violence is more than hitting and killing, it arises in many flavours.  Whilst one of these flavours is obvious and gets most of the attention, the really important flavours escape unnoticed by many of us:

1) Hitting, maiming, torturing and killing;

2) Shouting;

3) Criticising;

4) Labeling – in a way that robs the other of self esteem, self confidence, of dignity;

5) Ignoring;

6) Excluding;

7) Not allowing the other ‘voice’ – to speak or to be heard;

8) Imposing one’s view of the situation, of the world, on another;

9) Failing to acknowledge what is worthy in the other.

Of these sins of violence the one that is most important – for me – is  number 9:  imposing one’s view of the situation, of the world, on another.  Even though I recognised this several days ago, I have found myself doing this again and again – it is simply natural to me and it runs me.

So what have I learnt?  I am automatically violent and I do not see this violence as violence  – it is just standing my ground, standing up for what I believe, correcting/help others to live a better life or simply not to make mistakes……..

What am I doing about being non-violent? Three practices come to mind:

a) Whole, complete, perfect;

b) Treat others as I’d wish to be treated – respect, caring, love;

c) Give up something especially my point of view.

The Game of Three Questions and Three Answers


About an half an hour ago I was spending a little quality time – some ten minutes – with each of my three children before they go to sleep. It is ritual that I started a long time ago and which each of the children value. Normally, I will tell them I love them and I will ask them about their day. Today, the Game of Three Questions and Three Answers was created. I want to share that game with you.

As I was about to say goodnight to my daughter the Game of Three Questions and Answers arose in my mind. So I asked my daughter if she wanted to play this game. She agreed. So I asked her the first question: What three aspects of yourself are you proud of? The answers I got were great. And yet they were answers to another question: What three aspects of your life can you be grateful for? So the Game of Three Questions and Three Answers became:

Q1: What three aspects of your life can you be grateful for?
Q2: What three aspects of yourself can you be proud of?
Q3: What three actions did you take to create a better world?
Q4: What three things did you learn about yourself, people around you and the world?

Whilst I was asking these questions and listening to the answers, I was struck by the thought that I should be asking myself these questions and providing answers – at the end of each and every day.

As I write this, I cannot help thinking and feeling that we can benefit from playing the Game of Three Questions and Three Answers with ourselves and the people closest to us.