Violence begets violence. Means produce ends. How can we escape this vicious cycle? Must we accept every invitation offered to us? Do we possess the freedom to decline an invitation? Or, does violence rob us of any possibility of responding nonviolently? There is little question that violence demands a response! Returning violence for violence seems to be the first responder, but rather than healing only creates more victims and a cascade of crises. We need to look beyond our first, most base, response. Otherwise, violence becomes enacted in our lives as a self-fulfilling prophecy. If Gandhi was wrong, and peace is not possible, then war defines both our means and our ends. I believe peace is possible. To practice making this a reality I simply rule out violence as a legitimate means. Once violence is ruled out, then creation begins. By setting a boundary disallowing violence on my part, I create the conditions where I must find alternatives, creative alternatives. Many are uncomfortable with such a pacifist practice because they don’t want to sacrifice what might possibly be a legitimate practice of violence. Though perhaps most importantly, disarming oneself may be way too dangerous too oneself and much too much work for most. Nonetheless, my experience is that a working assumption of violence as a last resort, is largely a wholesale acceptance of invitations to violence. As a classic example, the so-called Just War Theory, in practice better resembles the It’s Just a War Theory! In fact, no nation has ever declared its assent to the just war principles, let alone that they have met them. The powerful emotional response to violence is too closely linked to a similar, if not more-so, violent response. Rage is simply too often too difficult to reign back in once violence is chosen. Nonviolence is the prudent path. As far as violence goes, which is routinely too far, we shouldn’t even go down that path — don’t even go there! War, the grossest manifestation of violence on our planet, requires demonizing entire populations and groups of people to be “successfully” waged. Preying on the epic human weaknesses of xenophobia, parochial patriotism, and unjust gain fuel the engines of war. Channeling the outrageousness of violence into long-term, creative nonviolent responses strikes me as the way, and the goal, out of unending violence. Channeling the emotions stirred when confronting outrageous injustices should stir a deep commitment to human rights, as in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (of which the United States of America has never ratified). Such a commitment to universal human rights propels the nonviolent to challenge nations to higher standards than the wholesale violation of human rights that is war. If we fail at this challenge, and refuse to return the invitations to war, then war will persist, as you will have guest.
About Top Pun’s Blog
Top Pun's mission is to maximize prophets. Top Pun creates serious, funny, and seriously funny peace and justice designs which are available on your choice of products such as buttons, T-shirts, and bumper stickers. Top Pun blogs to highlight additional facets of his word artistry such as pun-filled poetry and funny political satire, free posters, as well as political actions of local and global importance -- and don't forget the noncommercial, public health radio show available online, Just for the Health of It . Top Pun's serious playfulness ever reminds us that justice is no yoke, and the pun is mightier than the sword!
My Public Health Radio Show
- FREE POSTER: Scientists have narrowed down the origin of the COVFEFE-19 virus to either a raccoon virus or Oompa-Loompa virus
- Trump Begs Forgiveness For Bungling COVID-19 Response
- POEM: What Cannot Be Forest Upon Mother Nature
- POEM: Neighboring Accountability
- POEM: Nobody Really No’s
- LOVE POEM: The Her and Now
- LOVE POEM: Stolen Goods
- POEM: Dyslexic Write Wringer
- POEM: That Clarity Amidst Blood
- POEM: God’s Tell
- FREE POSTER: T-rump, BIG MOUTH, tiny hands, Breaks Shit
- UNIMPEACHABLE POEM: When Conspiracy Makes a Perfect Call
- POEM: Goddest of Dreams
- POEM: BS Meters
- POEM: Loyalty Oafs
- An Apparently Unimpeachable POEM: If Only It Were Just Bazaar
- POEM: Got Marxism?
- POEM: God’s Lazy As
- IMPEACHMENT TRIAL POEM: Constipated Just US
- FREE POSTER: God is Love (with asterisk)
- THANKS for perusing Top Pun's word artistry!
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