is non-violence even possible?
i had thought i was writing about the concept and application of a culture of consent, when i find myself caught up thinking about violence and non-violence. the two are very inter-related. i feel that i need to settle, or at least explore, some understanding of how i think about what is violent, before i can dive into the realm of consent.
a recent event in Benghazi, Libya and one in my personal life have sparked my current round of pondering non-violence. for at least 25 years, i have proclaimed and tried to practice non-violence as the way i walk through life. in the past couple of years, i find myself in a new round of struggling with what that means, why we adopt it as a living philosophy, who it serves and whether it is even really possible.
as a short entry today, just to get the juices flowing and see if i can get some dialogue started, i’m going to throw something out about the last aspect: is non-violence even possible?
here is a dictionary definition of ’violence’:
- Behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something
- Strength of emotion or an unpleasant or destructive natural force
- - the violence of her own feelings
- The unlawful exercise of physical force or intimidation by the exhibition of such force
by this definition, harvesting plants for food is violent. after all, you are going to hurt or kill it. it also says that emotions can be violent. if eating and having strong feelings are violent, is there even such a thing as a non-violent life?