“Their partiality for their own standpoint came in the way of their giving due weight to the arguments of their opponents.” ~ Gandhi, Ashram Observances, p. 100
Can we be nonviolent without listening to our opponents? We should try to hear their side. Such an attitude is our duty, and in nonviolence, we should strive to have a healthy detachment from our own standpoint, especially when it is in conflict with that of others. The more we listen to our opponents, with sincerity, leaving aside aggressive and judgmental motives, the more we pave the way for them to be able to hear us without feeling defensive. Gandhi would even say that it is in listening to our opponents that we can claim victory, because it is a victory over ourselves.
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Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide.
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