Nonviolence, or Ahimsa? Choosing Truth-Firmness

Nonviolence. Ahimsa, "not-hurting." Gandhi proposed another word, satyagraha, or "truth-force."

I have given nonviolence trainings where people believed that any form of property destruction, strong disagreement, or disobedience of authority was a form of violence. For them, nonviolence was ahimsa, or not-hurting. It is easy, using this negative concept, to negate any action at all, from the carnage wrought among ants by the walking person, to the car emissions fueling planetary climate change. In the face of such an full negation, Ahimsa leads to quietism, inaction, and support for the status quo.

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