International Day of Non-Violence

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Non-Violence Karl Fredrik Reutersward
“Non-Violence”, a sculpture by Karl Fredrik Reutersward

October 2, 2007, was the first International Day of Non-Violence. This day was selected because it was Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. According to United Nation’s general assembly A/RES/61/271, issued on June 27, 2007, this day was established to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”. The resolution reaffirms “the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence” and the desire “to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence”.

If you are not familiar with Gandhi’s works, here is an analogy to help you. Martin Luther King, Jr. is to National Civil Rights Movement, as Gandhi is to the world. He was passionate about refraining from violence. Some memorable Gandhi quotes are below.

“We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word and deed. But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make strong progress towards it.”

“Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up.”

“There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no causes that I am prepared to kill for.”

So when you are out today, try non-violence. In fact, try to spend the entire day–or even the rest of the week–with not only a non-violent approach, but a non-hostile approach. For example: if someone cuts you off, just blow it off. Now this is not to say let people walk all over you, but don’t be confrontational.

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