Thursday, May 26, 2011

No Payback in Kind

I'm keeping my commitment to non-violence. The man pictured above in a police photo never fired a shot, and yet moved mountains. Non-violent struggle is still struggle intended to inflict pain and damage on adversaries. We forget that all of those boycotts by the Civil Rights movement caused businesses to close and people to lose their jobs and their livelihoods. At the same time, non-violence does not claim the role of Judge-Jury-Executioner that comes with armed conflict. Despite the guns, the clubs, the dogs, and the fire hoses, Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers did not pay Bull Connor back in kind.

Was the man pictured above perfect and perfectly consistent in his teachings and actions? Certainly not, but then, none of us could pass the perfection test. We are people, not angels.

More often than not, we all live as we can, not as we should; ALL of us.

We can't do perfect. We can only do our best.

1 comment:

JCF said...

So often, (US) Americans (esp. on the Right, but also Center and even Left) have the "Bad Guy" theory of morality.

There are Good Guys (us) and Bad Guys (them). You just KILL the Bad Guys, and voila: there's no more Bad in the world!

...except it never works out like that. There's always more Bad. Is it because "They" keeping breeding Badness?

Or maybe, is it because Badness is something endemic to the HUMAN condition (not the "Them" condition!)?

If you can't kill Badness by killing "Bad Guys", we need Another Way.

We need to not annihilate Badness out of people, but TRANSFORM them (and us!) out of it.

We need Satyagraha: Gandhi's "Soul Force". We need nonviolent change. We need nonviolent direct action.

[This is all just a lengthy "Aaaaaaaaamen!" to your post, Doug. ;-)]