Non-Violence - A way of life
Non-violence is a way of life. It relates to one’s entire existence. Practicing non-violence means, in short, to lead a life of positivity despite unfavorable conditions; to adopt a conciliatory and not a confrontational approach in social life. This applies both to individuals and to groups.
This world can be likened to a rose bush, which possesses thorns as well as flowers. Thorns are inseparable parts of the rose bush. This is an immutable law of nature. If we are to pluck the flowers, we have only one option in this matter and that is to avoid the thorns.
This phenomenon of nature shows us the way to lead a realistic life; that is, to accept the favorable, while avoiding the unfavorable. For, in this world there will always be a multiplicity of both pleasant and unpleasant situations. These may seem in many ways to be of man’s creation, but in reality, they have been planned by the Creator Himself. No one is powerful enough to rid the world of all that is negative, leaving only what is positive.
This being so, there is only one option for us, and that is what we call non- violence. Non-violence is not just passivity. Non-violence, in actual fact, is a well-considered policy, enabling man to live in peace, even in a violent situation. Indeed, its practice is synonymous with peaceful behavior.
Generally, non-violence is seen as an absence of war. But, this is a very limited definition of non-violence. For, the attitude of non-violence relates to man’s entire life, beginning from the moment he steps into this world. The non-violent way is valid in all ambit, right from hearth and home to the sphere of international affairs.
When you stand in the Himalayan foothills, you will see torrents of water sent down by the ice melting on the mountain tops. On the way, the fast- flowing water repeatedly meets obstacles in the form of boulders. These hamper the flow of the water, but the water does not attempt to break the stones in order to follow a straight course. On the contrary, what it does is avoid the stones and find its way around their sides, and eventually reaches the plains. This is the way of non-violence.
To put it another way, non-violence is non-confrontation. In this world, the non-confrontational approach is the only right approach. Non- confrontation does not mean cowardice or accepting defeat. It is in actual fact, the same strategy which is known as ‘buying time’. That is to say, avoiding wasting one’s time in futile activities and directing all one’s energy towards result-oriented activities.