Freedom is the best fruit under self sufficiency.Epicurus
Day 56 Season for Nonviolence 2021
“Before embarking on the Civil Disobedience and taking the risk I have dreaded to take all
these years, I would fain (gladly) approach you and find a way out.”
When we think of men and women like Gandhi and King, we tend to see them at their most courageous, in the midst of their struggle. What we miss in this picture is all that went
before. We miss the years of fear and turmoil, knowing the upheaval and distress it would
cause themselves, their families and their countries.
We miss the moments of doubt and indecision, the long prayerful hours and days, seeking some, any other way out. We miss the final, fateful moment of courage when, the decision clear, the steps toward confrontation with injustice began. Because we miss those moments, we put individuals like these on pedestals, missing the truth of who they were, ordinary men and women. WWII US Navy Admiral William F. Halsey said, “There are no great men, only great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet.” In our lives, we all face injustice, whether globally, nationally, locally or personally.
Being ordinary men and women, we fear to take action. For the most part, we try to tolerate it, hoping that somehow it will go away, praying that someone else will be the brave one, or that some answer will be found to create an easy way out for everyone. Most of the time that will happen. Sometimes, though, we ARE the ones who must will finally be “tired of giving in” and take action. Before we do, as Gandhi infers, we must spend the time necessary to do everything possible, including the deep soul searching and prayerful meditation that will lead us to the right decision. Even then, as Gandhi says, we have to sincerely and gladly approach those inflicting the injustice to seek one last opportunity to reach a peaceful resolution. Then, and only then, can we justify non-cooperation and nonviolent resistance. And justify it we must, to ourselves, to the world and to the Divine.
Today I will meditate on all those places in my life where I tolerate injustice, even in
small personal matters. Today, I will ask, “Is this the injustice that needs addressing? Is
now the time it needs to be addressed? Am I the one that is called to address it?”