"Our survival as a species is threatened by global warming, economic meltdown, and an ever-increasing gap between rich and poor. [...] And there's no question about the reality of evil, of injustice, of suffering. These threats offer an opportunity to awaken as an interconnected, beloved community. When we see others as the enemy, we risk becoming what we hate. When we oppress others, we end up oppressing ourselves. All of our humanity is dependent upon recognizing the humanity in others." - Desmond Tutu
Season for Nonviolence Mission:
To articulate and practice the principles, values, and skills underlying nonviolent living in 3 areas: Self: personal growth and transformation (psychological self), Others: fostering meaningful and intelligent relationships (social self) , and World: aligning culture with nature and fostering collective awakening and a world that works for the greater good (eco-cultural/global self)
80 Days to Practice Weaving Love and Wise Action Into Daily Life
The Season for Nonviolence, January 30 - April 22, is a national educational and grassroots campaign dedicated to demonstrating that nonviolence is a powerful way to heal, transform, and empower our personal lives, our communities and our global society. Inspired by the 50th and 30th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, this cross-cultural event creates a focused time to learn and practice the powerful teachings of these two great humanitarians.
In this time of darkness in the world, we turn to the wisdom of these two world teachers – in search of the shared values and common goodness that support people of all faiths and political parties moving toward a better future. Join us in the annual Gandhi-King Season of Non-violence and explore the meaning of these timeless principles for your life and key relationships.
These 80 days (eleven weeks+) are divided into three arenas of practice: I. Self, (Mind-Body-Spirit); II. Others (Communication-Relationship); III. World (Eco-Social). Together these three practice arenas comprise an integrated focus of humanity’s movements toward greater health: personal, social and environmental. For a list of Daily Practices or further details visit the HH Learning Center.
What is Nonviolence?
Nonviolence is a powerful method to harmonize relationships among people (and all living things) for the establishment of justice and the ultimate well-being of all parties. It draws power from awareness of the profound truth to which the wisdom traditions of all cultures, science and common experience bear witness: that all life is one.
Nonviolence is a relatively new word in the English language, having been introduced in the 1920’s. Many dictionaries still do not list it. In current usage the hyphen is not usually used; and when it is, it often signifies the mere absence of physical violence, in contrast to “principled nonviolence” - the presence of concern for the opponent as a person. “Nonviolence” is a rough translation of the Sanskrit term ahimsa, which means something like: “the power that comes into effect when the desire to harm is eliminated”. Today, people use the term “nonviolence” in three different ways:
Today, people use the term “nonviolence” in three different ways:
In this usage, allowing oneself to be abused can be called “nonviolence”, while Gandhi and others have considered this a form of violence. This definition leads to a lot of confusion and is not what is meant by Gandhi and those practicing principled NV.
Without reference to a philosophical or spiritual foundation for that avoidance. Often this form of NV is conditional. (“If it doesn’t work we can go back to violence.”) This passive approach defines “nonviolent” as “not using violence”.
A positive desire for the well-being of others even when opposing their actions or policies. Just as peace is more than the absence of war, it is more than the refusal to use physical violence. PNV is peaceful action that can awaken public conscience about an ongoing injustice and steps toward creative change. Gandhi, King, Chavez and others used PNV to highlight injustice for all to see - without blaming anyone. In PNV all violence (not just physical) is held to violate the essential interconnectedness of all beings, and that connectedness also guarantees the eventual success of principled nonviolent action: “pursuit of peace by peaceful means” (J. Galtung).
Mohandas K Gandhi Principles of Non-Violence
Mohandas K Gandhi (1869 -1948)
Known to hundreds of millions of Indians and westerners as the "Mahatma" or "Great Soul", his skillful strategy of nonviolence (practice of the law of love) combined with a humanitarian vision, brought about the emancipation of India in the 1940's. Gandhi's strategy of clarifying and expressing "truth and moral power" emphasized love and integrity as a relational path to real social reform.
Gandhian Principles of Non-Violence
- Oneness: All life is one/interconnected. Our oneness calls us to work for the well-being of all.
- Satyagraha (force of truth/Soul Force): NV is the pursuit of truth - living with integrity and willingness to confront untruth.
- Ahimsa (non-injury): Nonviolence as practice of ahimsa is the development of love and selfless service - helping others, especially adversaries to avoid suffering - essence of all religions.
- Absorbing Suffering: NV takes on without complaint any suffering that results from my confrontation with untruth and accepts that all forms of violence cannot be totally eliminated.
- Trust/Release of Fear: NV living is a trust in life and the journey of becoming increasingly free from fear.
Seven Social Evils – Mohandas K Gandh
- Wealth Without Work
- Pleasure Without Conscience
- Knowledge Without Character
- Commerce Without Morality
- Science Without Humanity
- Worship Without Sacrifice
- Politics Without Principles
“You must be the change you want to see in the world”. – Mahatma Gandhi
Martin Luther King Jr. Principles of Non-Violence
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 -1968)
One of Gandhi's greatest disciples was the acclaimed leader of the U.S. civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. King inspired and organized an EXPLICITLY nonviolent mass movement to awaken social conscience - challenging racial discrimination, violence, injustice and militarism in America.
King’s Principles of Nonviolence:
- Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people.
- Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.
- Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding.
- Nonviolence holds that suffering for a cause can educate and transform.
- Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.
- Nonviolence holds that the universe is on the side of justice and that right will eventually prevail.