Some have the impression that once nonviolence has done what they consider to be its work, they can return to using violence to uphold their victory. Gandhi would have to be a wet blanket on this idea. If something was achieved through the use of nonviolence, it could only be maintained through the on-going deepening process of nonviolence. Otherwise, we lose whatever we thought we achieved. It’s like reaching down into a well with a bucket, filling it, and then letting go of the rope! Ouch!
This is why many change agents from various movements have started encouraging people to look beyond their success and keep struggling forward. The movement does not stop once marriage equality is achieved, or police brutality is less common, or another gender is elected head of state. It goes on–looking different than many of our actions in direct struggle, yet in no way less valuable–growing from strength to strength until everyone, literally everyone, has dignity. This journey should occupy us for likely the rest of our lives. This is not a short-term commitment in any way; it’s a new way of life. A friend from Palestine has said, “existence is resistance.” In more ways than one!
Close your eyes and reflect on the possibility, and the necessity, of dignity for everyone, the kind of dignity that stems from nonviolence.
The Metta Center for Nonviolence, PO Box 98, Petaluma, California 94953 707-774-6299 email@example.com