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.