Matthew Harman, a participant in our Certificate in Nonviolence Studies, has offered this beautiful pledge of commitment to the practice of nonviolence. What is yours?
This image is from Stephanie Van Hook’s “Gandhi Searches for Truth.”
All is one.
I continue to pledge my perpetually improving dedication to nonviolence, the most powerful force throughout the history of life. I continue to present violence as a problem to be solved rather than an authentic detriment to be rationalized. I emphasize the injustice embedded within systems of oppression rather than attack humans who support such systems consciously or subconsciously – including myself. I understand that humans are a diverse lifeform espousing innumerable perspectives, but that we are currently facing a limit barrier; the cycle of violence. As we continue to evolve spiritually and augment ourselves physically I continue my effort to share the timeless, albeit less well known, story of nonviolence.
To continue to be an example of nonviolence we must remain in the moment without forgetting our ancestors – across species – or ignoring future generations. To maintain respect across differences in experience, age, class, ethnicity, ability, planets, solar systems, galaxies. To empower through mutual dignity catalyzed via nonviolent action throughout our everyday activities. I also emphasize that nonviolent action can be as brief and transient as a smile or as deep and dedicated as lifetimes. No matter the course I always welcome nonviolence into my heart amidst processes and spaces that often seem bent on destruction.
Despite my studies, I do not know much nor will I, ever. I offer my presence to anyone who seeks to share or deepen our understanding of nonviolence as a form of cosmic, universal knowledge. Moreover, I continue to limit my exposure to the mass media while producing nonviolent, people-powered media alternatives, such as Peace and Nonviolence radio.
I am not a victim and continue to take full responsibility for my actions and encourage others to do the same through my public and private activities. I refrain from abusive thoughts, language, and deeds. I encourage movements to develop soberly but do not ignore or diminish those who rely on intoxicants because everyone is on their own path and some of the most influential nonviolent humans experienced lives of violent abuse before rededicating to the universal. I will make every attempt to redirect violent alternatives toward nonviolent actions without demand.
In our ongoing preparation for the struggle, I will continue to exercise daily in friendly competition with myself while encouraging others to use their bodies creatively.
In closing I forgive myself and others, knowing that every lifeform has the innate ability to transform.