Wednesday, 8 October 2008

The Courage to be Non-violent

When my father was dying, my daughter was holding his hand and said, ‘Well, Granddad, what are the recipes for a good life?’ And he said, ‘The recipe for a good life is to have courage, love, and hope.’ And I think that’s the major challenge facing a pacifist, and that’s why I think religious pacifists in a sense are better able to move in this direction than humanists. And that is to have the courage in a conflict situation to be willing to sacrifice yourself, to bring the pain of the situation on to yourself, rather than to inflict it on others.And that of course was the challenge of Gandhi, and Martin Luther King and all the others that have adopted the non-violent witness. And the challenge for me personally there is whether confronted by those situations, I would have the courage to make that sacrifice.

Kevin Clements, a member of the Religious Society of Friends and Professor and Foundation Director of the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Queensland, speaking on Radio National Encounter: The Far Side of Revenge

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