Non-violence goes to the heart of intent. For me, non-violence is a balance of do no harm and positive supports towards a peaceful reality. Within the totality of life, there are going to be fluctuations that take place. We have the factors of insanity, accidents and other uncontrollables which slams into us. Like hitting your fingers with a hammer as you build something, stuff just happens. It is the intent that is crucial in a non-violent reality. This intent must be honest, understood and trusted. The intent has to be peaceful.
Since we are alive, there is a wide spectrum of what each of us will describe as non-violent. For some, zoos are violent, cancer is violent, prisons are violent, smacking a mosquito is violent, spraying your lawn or gardens with pesticides is violent. Due to the fact that we have this spectrum we need to resolve these differences – conflict resolution.
What is weird is that almost everyone will proclaim that they want peace, how we get to that reality is a source of violence/conflict. This means we must communicate in some manner, usually talking. At this point we have a simple question, would you rather work with a person you know to be violent or a person who is known to be non-violent? Most of us would go for the non-violent person and this is why it is very important to be known/trusted as a non-violent person. In the work of peace, the people that are violent are most in need of someone who is willing and able to go through the possibility of being harmed.
Each day, we are trying to make positive steps towards the reality of peace in our own lives as well as our homes, communities and the world. To do this we have to realize that most of us would rather work with someone who is non-violent. It just makes life that much easier, it is that simple.
Here in Canada we have to resolve and transform many relationships. There is systemic racism, systemic violence, environmental challenges, over consumption challenges, health challenges, crime challenges, and many other challenges. None of these will be fairly or satisfactorily be resolved if someone tries to win out over another. That is a violent reality. Being fair, honest and a true partner in peace is what we need.