Sunday, September 10, 2006

Satyagraha

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi







100 years ago, Ghandi made his first declaration of non violence as a viable answer as opposition to oppression in South Africa. Satyagraha as this is called, has been used successfully by Ghandi to achieve India's independence, Martin Luther King's quest for black civil rights, and Nelson Mandela's pursuit of South Africa's direction of black liberty.

9/11 will be commemorated by many Americans as a vacuum filled attack on the US. No doubt in surfing the blogosphere, you will read anything from critiques and conspiracy (should they be called that?) theorists questioning the Bush's administration's involvement (especially Cheney) and foreknowledge, to emotional commemorations of a day that burtst the average and not very worldly American. This post is neither. I am tired of violence perpetrated by all people, we have plenty to go around in this world. Fractions, sects, inter and intra-religious conflict, tribal, and countries at war. It ought not to happen in this day and age but it does. I often wonder if those who are involved in the plotting of killing, avenging, amassing of power, if that is what they thought they wanted to be when they were kids. I look at my kids and think, would I ever expect them to use guns, or to push that button that drops one of those nasty bombs and kills many people? I tell my son especially, who, as can be expected of any boy his age the world over, is interested in weapons and 'fighting the enemy' (which could be the Wraith from Stargate Atlantis to some ghost from Danny Phantom, you don't know, don't ask)..I do not want you EVER to join the military!

Awareness needs to achieve a critical masse before it can influence a people culturally and socially. It needs to start with me, and my family, and hopefully you, and then you and then your families. Anger, agression, violence and the ubiquitous 'me vs you' comes from a place of emotional imbalance, unhappiness, and most importantly, a lack of peace. The latter includes the many religious people who keep killing and perpetrating crimes in the name of their religion, and they are not solely Muslim. Read history, and other histories. The world over is filled with repeated stories that are veritable templates of when religion rules and spiritually is non existent.

You come from your 'place'..your particular baggage and previous hurts. Bag it, and throw it out. How you perceive events of the world around you depends on what you know and how you feel. Literally. I am not going to ask for a commemoration of 9/11, there are plenty forgotten souls in Africa, Asia and the Middle East who could use some commemorating. 9/11 to me was a 'welcome , join the club of terrorism'. For those experienced with it in Europe (England, Ireland,France, Germany, Spain, Turkey to name a few) it was a moment of recognition. This is what happens, now you have to counter it. The US under Bush has been supremely dumb and ignorant and naive and inexperienced. Most definitely not smart and wise and hence, now we will wonder how much more worried we need to be. The only way to counter this is Satyagraha. It is not only the act of non violence, but the emotional and spiritual space you need to enter before you can act upon it that is the key. For that, you need maturity, you need honesty, you need the desire to bring about peace and most of all, see the 'other' as your fellow human being, not as your enemy or antagonist.

5 Comments:

Blogger Zee said...

This is an interesting beginning of a sentence of yours:
"Awareness needs to achieve a critical masse ..."

You see, the only way that critical masse can be achieved is not through knowledge, but through misery. I am more and more convinced that people and humanity only learn and adjust their behavior through pain. Reason has become a philosophical abstraction.

10:30 PM  
Blogger Haider Droubi said...

i agree with zee...
nice blog....

1:36 AM  
Blogger Sothis said...

It would be wonderful if we could all realize that peace is better than war. But as long as there are a few men who realize they have much to gain by setting people against each other and inciting their emotions and not their reason, the circle will never end. Thanks for this post. Gives me a lot to think about.

2:51 AM  
Blogger Kel said...

Great post Ingrid and a great day to post it on!

7:41 AM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Hi guys, I have had some computer problems so I could not access any sites yesterday including my own. Well, except for one and then my connection pooped out on me..sigh.
anyhow, Zee. Food for thought buddy. I actually do agree with you, as pessimistic (realistic?) it is, and sad. Because it would mean that either we are predetermined to never see any changes, or we are predetermined to face a serious catastrophe after which 'we' will see a change of heart. If all the wars that the US has engaged in for whatever official reason were fought out on this soil, it would have halted a while ago. Throughout the ages though there are always enlightened people, albeit unfortunately they're a majority or ended up being martyrs (the Catholic Church was good at condemning them for instance) and persecuted. I think today's heretics are no so much religious, but political, for reasons that I think you can all imagine. I am reading Howard Zinn's 'the people's history of the US 1492 till now', not the updated version unfortunately but this 'glorious' history is really not glorious at all. It's almost depressing to read but also very enlightning. It underscores to me how one must learn history to see how people and people in power manipulate the masses to their own advantage.
Haider, achlen! Thanks for the kind words, you too have a very nice site and I was able to comment on the pictures before I got disconnected. If I continue to check out more and more sites, I will never have time for my own! I will definitely revisit yours though. The different perspectives of life and how you view it from your own angle is always fascinating to me.
Sothis girl! How are you? Do you think it's a 'mother'thing to want to have real, true and serious peace? I myself have felt a whole lot more conscious about 'life' and the manner of living since I've had kids, a kind of internal recognition rather than a , as Zee would call it, a philosophical abstraction. (Zee, you're right, I'm a philosophiser) What do you think?
Kel, I found myself unable and unwilling to watch the commemorations. Not out of not caring about the victims, you can do that any time when you give that day your thoughts, but because of the surrounding unwillingness to look further into the causes and the reactions. I myself have been thinking about Israel's plan ahead for attacking Hezbullah with the opportunism that came this summer (it has been reported on it, I covered it in one of my posts, lord knows which one as I have to go back and check each post ), I have a suspicion that this administration had foreknowledge of it but needed an excuse to invade Iraq. It has been reported on also. Hence, this communal dream of 'we are attacked because they hate us' vexes me to watch any commemoration that has a deeper and longer pre-history.
Anyhow, I have a sick kid at home and I better make sure that he's taking his meds and doing some schoolwork.. no watching Danny Phantom all day!
Ingrid

9:53 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home