livinglifefully.com

October 17
  
The religion of non-violence is not
meant merely for the rishis and saints.
It is meant for the common people as
well.  Non-violence is the law of our
species, as violence is the law of the brute.

Mohandas Gandhi

  

Today's Meditation:

We commit a violent act every time we try to put another person down, either by physical force or by words and actions.  We commit a violent act each time that we harm another living creature, whether it be person or animal.  We've been taught that violent acts are sometimes necessary, so it's very easy for us to justify our actions when we commit them ourselves.  But they're not okay, and until we actually accept that truth and live by it, then we are following the "law of the brute."  And if we choose to follow that law, what does our choice make us?

Of course, the brute him or herself will follow the law also, so there may be times when we need to defend ourselves and/or our loved ones.  Fortunately, in this day and age in most countries, such a need is relatively rare.  If we do so, though, we need to be aware that we're stepping into the brute's world, and it's important to bring ourselves back as quickly as we can.

We have been given the gifts of intelligence and rational thoughts, of community and the ability to persuade and reason.  While these gifts may sometimes fail us in our effort to be non-violent, they should be our first line of defense, and certainly our only tool in dealing with others on our own terms.  Let's use the gifts that define us as loving, caring, compassionate creatures rather than the violent urges that put us on the level of the beasts.

For the vast majority of us, the vast majority of the time, we can live our lives in non-violent fashion, sharing our love and our compassion with others in our lives.  It's a choice that we should make for our own sake and for the sake of those people with whom we share this beautiful planet we're on.  We can contribute to the peace and love in this world instead of contributing to the violence and anger--and I know what I prefer my contribution to be.

Questions to consider:

Why is violence so predominant in our societies?  Why do so many people find it to be an acceptable form of conflict resolution?

How can we make sure to keep non-violence as our own personal religion?  Why might we want to?

What did Gandhi mean when he said that "violence is the law of the brute"?

For further thought:

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the
goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all
other living beings, we are still savages.

Thomas A. Edison

   

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