Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
– Matthew 5.44–45 (KJV)
We are called upon to love the loveless and the unlovable, to reach out to the racists and the torturers, to all who hurt and damage, cripple and kill .... God, through us, and in many other ways, offers them healing love and divine pity and takes their hurts away.
We are called to that obedience which freely gives up self, possessions, life, beliefs, in following that vision, that greater love in which alone is life and peace. This does not mean that we lie down like doormats to be trampled on, or that we give up our freedom or our grasp of truth—it means that we join ourselves to the risk of creation, to the venture of authentic human being, that we “stand in the Light,” reveal that measure of truth that is known to us... that we face the pain of the world, and match it with forgiveness.
– Janet Scott,
What Canst Thou Say, 1980
Nonviolence is a way of living every day, every hour, in our personal choices as well as mass struggles for justice. Through it, we affirm the divine Light in every human being and act on the belief that truth and love can overcome ignorance and hate. Nonviolence addresses the misuse and abuse of power in all spheres of life, from quarrelling to domestic violence to war.
Our faith calls for us to be fully present to the person before us. History has shown that when a future outcome, however noble, seems of greater worth than the human being before us, any means, any atrocity, is possible. Non-violence as a way of life is based on the realization that the means determine the ends, that the means are how we live our lives.
We should carry on this struggle on the lines of strict non-violence, i.e., by suffering in our own persons.... I want you to feel like loving your opponents, and the way to do it is to give them the same credit for honesty of purpose which you would claim for yourself.
– Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi,
Gandhi on Nonviolence
When we act in the humble recognition that every party to a problem or dispute has some portion of the truth, our object becomes not winning but reconciliation. We seek methods to deal with conflict, such as mediation, that build and develop cooperation and community. Conflict, an inevitable fact of life, becomes creative opportunity when we can fashion from our differing approaches a combined vision that is closer to Truth than any of our original positions.