Learn more about Nonviolence (or non violence)
Nonviolence (non violence) isn’t a wrong word (as others can critique that it is too passive) – it is actually a Middle Way. It is not extreme as peace or war but gives a non-dualistic view on actions between being violent and being distant from existence. Nonviolence describes neutrality, but expresses an active position too, protest and freedom. It is a step from a black and white picture of the world to a more mindful, reflective, critical, content and contemplative living.
Here is a very important quote from Vandenbroeck “Less is more: an anthology of ancient and modern voices raised in praise of simplicity” written back in 1996:
Pacifists become militants
Freedom fighters become tyrants
Blessings become curses.
Help becomes hindrance
More becomes less.
Nonviolence is the basis of life
The precept not to kill is present in all religions and it is a fundamental part of ethics and morality. Mark Kurlansky, in his book “Nonviolence: a history of a dangerous era” stated that there is no proactive word for an act of nonviolence. Peace isn’t going to describe it all. Nonviolence stretches from being peaceful and passive, to being calm and actively seeking justice and equality.
In many works nonviolence is also about the whole world – how peaceful it can be, how harmonious and simply a nice place to live. It is all great targets to aspire to but the major problem lies within – we are not nonviolent towards ourselves. We live constantly ruminating about our past and worry about our future, we torture ourselves with thoughts, we simply hurt ourselves. This mindless living then translates to overconsumption, and this abundance, unfortunately, causes our current epidemic of obesity. It is of course not that straightforward.
Surely, many of us are engaged in meaningful careers and some even work in social enterprises which allow to give back to society, but with no doubt our busy lifestyles and lack of time are pressing us to succumb to advertising and convenience industry pressure – we eat on the go, consume a lot of sugary, fatty snacks and pre-made meals.
Nonviolence should work for us
It’s clear that we should become beneficiaries of nonviolence. We should re-learn how to be kind and compassionate to ourselves, enjoy our lives and spend our valuable time on what matters most.
The latter is most surely not just us alone. We think about our families, friends and even pets. As soon as we master being “in our own zone or flow”, we should extend compassion and kindness to those around us. After all, they are not different from you at all. They want happiness (emotional health) and well-being (physical and mental health).
Mindfulness and interdependence of all things
This is how mindfulness works interdependently. We all want the same thing, so why not doing just so and helping others?
This interdependence also means that positive actions will bring positive results and vice versa. If we think further, it is clear that only nonviolence is capable to be of help or our mission to enjoy life with others.
Scientists have proven that acts of kindness breed happiness in ourselves. Surprisingly, we don’t need to just care about people we know. Extending this compassion to all living beings brings maximum results.
Mindfulness trains the mind
The mind becomes able to pause and reflect. We can then choose a better response to the situations in our lives in a nonviolent way.
Nonviolence and Nutrition
Another application of nonviolence is nutrition. If we adopt a nonviolent approach, which means we surely do not eat anything sentient that has been industrially farmed and killed to become our food, we reap health benefits too. Vegan nutrition helps us to maintain a healthy weight, get rid of allergies, reverse many lifestyle diseases and better our mental health too. It also saves millions or even billions of animal lives annually and helps to protect the environment from global warming. It’s truly an interconnected world that lacks a true nonviolent approach to living.
Many studies confirmed that bad nutrition, excessive sugar, salt and cheap fat consumption is linked to violence, crime and poor mental health. Mental health issues can trigger anger, aggression and violent incidents too. This link is another reason how good nutrition can help everyone to leave not only in a better world but being healthier too. Check out our Nutrition of Nonviolence: Plant-based Approach recommendations and framework.
Nonviolence as a Holistic Way of Living
We see that nonviolence becomes much more than an aim in itself, it contributes to a happier and healthier life. This holistic approach incorporates mindfulness meditation and plant-based whole foods nutrition. It is aligned with a new way of doing business which we call an economy of enough. We strive to achieve well-being and it is clear that it is only possible by being kind to all living beings.