The root of happiness is altruism, the with to be of service to othersDali Lama
Day 57 Gandhi-King Season for Nonviolence 2021
“The virtues of mercy, nonviolence, love and truth in any man can be truly tested only
when they are pitted against ruthlessness, violence, hate and untruth.”
It’s easy for us to allow ourselves to take pride in our ability to feel and practice mercy,
nonviolence, love and truth when we face no challenge. All of us are able to practice
nonviolence with those who agree with us and who are “good” people. The true test of our
commitment to a compassionate life, to nonviolence in all our relationships, is when we are
In the world, there will always be those who are ruthless and violent, whose inability to
love creates hate in their hearts. These people think nothing of lying or injuring others in a
variety of ways, if it suits their needs. These are exactly the kind of people who engage in
violence and injustice toward those over whom they have some perceived authority or
control. We may find ourselves in conflict with such individuals. Only then can we know
whether we have truly learned the lessons of nonviolence. We may be shocked by our own reactions under the circumstances. We may find ourselves becoming angry and reacting with verbal and emotional violence. When this happens, our natural reaction may be self-recrimination and self-loathing.
All we’ve proven, though, is that we are still on the path to nonviolence and haven’t yet reached the goal. Instead of self-recrimination, we should simply recognize our humanity. We have proven what Gandhi knew, that the path of nonviolence is a lifetime journey.
Today, I will meditate on my ability to practice mercy, nonviolence, love and truth. Today,
I will measure myself, not against ordinary interactions but against those which represent
the opposite of mercy, nonviolence, love and truth and I will forgive myself when I fall
short. This is the path of nonviolence.