The Sword that Heals

Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. [It] cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it.  It is a sword that heals.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

This movie scene from Gandhi still gives me goosebumps.  The background to this scene: British imperial overlords outlawed India’s domestic salt production. Colonial India was compelled to pay higher prices and buy salt from the UK.

Non-violent resistance requires no less sacrifice, courage, and resolve than armed confrontation. If the Indian resistance had turned into rock-throwing riots, it may have lost power; the ability to inspire empathy; the clarity of making visible the suffering and injustice.

Still, non-violence feels like a strange and counter-intuitive strategy to me. Yet it’s a strategy at least as old as Jesus of Nazareth.

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