Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Can I respond to the rising inequality in the world without anger

From Martin Luther King:

"Somehow we must be able to stand up before our most bitter opponents and say: 'We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will and we will still love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws and abide by the unjust system, because non-co-operation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is co-operation with good, and so throw us in jail and we will still love you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children, and, as difficult as it is, we will still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our communities at the midnight hour and drag us out on some wayside road and leave us half-dead as you beat us, and we will still love you. Send your propaganda agents around the country, and make it appear that we are not fit, culturally and otherwise, for integration, but we'll still love you. But be assured that we'll wear you down by our capacity to suffer, and one day we will win our freedom. We will not only win freedom for ourselves, we will so appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory."

This came up because there are constantly examples of all people not being equal, governments aid & abet this inequality. The current UK government seems to me to be crashing through peoples lives little understanding what those lives are like or will be like. Protests in the UK seem to be being beaten down by the police, made violent by the police. Our politicians set the tone, and the tone seems all wrong.
He says he wants people to know that hard graft is rewarded. I think of my parents, I think of the people who work day in day out, I also think of those for whom it is impossible to do so; does he know what hard graft is? Bodies wrecked, no savings, no pension, no early retirement? How to answer statements such as this?
The rich get richer on the backs of the people who earn low wages, the people who produce the stuff. Some by merely moving money about.
For myself I need to find a way of approaching this without hate, without anger; the frustration I feel is not easy to deal with, but to feel anger at people is not good for my well being so therefore not good for the well being of others. And I know violence is not right, that it will always make for more violence, for more inequality. I know that harsh words are violence. I know that speaking and acting from anger is not wise.
If you have time here are two links to dharma talks on non-violence
Talk one     Talk two
Talk two is particularly good, but Talk one has a very simple illustration of how using strong words might solve an immediate problem but builds a bigger one.

So I look to people such as Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama &Mahatma Gandhi [and Buddhist & Quaker teachings] for inspiration. It is not easy to stay reasonable.
I know that on the face of it things here, now, are not as bad as the situations that these three people have faced [although some individuals might have very difficult times] but still it is useful to see how strong non-violence can be. How it is not passive.

A dream: a world where we share in, not share out

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