A Life of thinking globally, acting locally, and seeking peace internally.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Passivism or Pacifism

It’s Gandhi Jayanthi (his birthday). Gandhi’s Be the Change quote is everywhere - even on my fridge, thanks to my good friend and peace activist Rich Peacock. I take this mantra seriously; Gandhi is one of those interfaith heroes who inspire me and my actions… In the past few weeks, I participated in the Fourth Annual Hindu Mandir Executive Conference, the Troy Interfaith Group’s Book Discussion Group on the International Day of Peace (Sept. 21), the Hindu American Foundation’s DC Day, and celebrated the International Day of Peace at a Potluck Peace Picnic with diverse foods and discussion at the Community Interfaith Labyrinth in Troy. My reflections on Gandhi today are about what I am going to be doing next week, on Oct. 7 in particular - http://www.11hour4peace.org/images/Oct_7_Flyer.pdf …

Gandhi was a believer in passive resistance, but he also worked toward a world without violence. Was he a passivist or a pacifist? Am I a passivist or a pacifist? Lets look at the (Random House) dictionary first:

pronunciation: pas-uh-viz-uhm
1. the quality of being passive.
2. the principle or practice of passive resistance.

pronunciation: pas-uh-fiz-uhm
1. opposition to war or violence of any kind.
2. refusal to engage in military activity because of one's principles or beliefs.
3. the principle or policy that all differences among nations should be adjusted without recourse to war.

Gandhi said “Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” I meditate and walk the labyrinth, and am reminded of the need to find my inner strength by the button on my handbag that says “Let PEACE begin with US.”

Gandhi said “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?” I go to peace rallies and call/write to politicians about my stance opposing war and military funding.

Gandhi said ”If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.” I take my children to peace rallies and teach them to be pluralists.

Gandhi said “Peace is its own reward.” I work to find the balance between passivism and pacifism.

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