by Cara Jensen
When I first joined WILPF, I was familiar, but not knowledgeable about the teachings of non-violence and pacifism. Upon reading and learning more and more, the concept seems to be fitting me like a glove, or perhaps more like lotion, absorbing into my skin.
I’ve been reading The Science of Peace by Dr. Suman Khanna Aggarwai, Gandhi on Non-Violence: Selected Texts, The Anatomy of Peace by the Arbinger Institute, Cultures of Peace by Elise Boulding, From Dictatorship to Democracy by Gene Sharp, Sermon on the Mount by Jesus, The Kingdom of God is Within You by Leo Tolstoy, A Vision for A Feminist Peace by Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and several Buddhist, Mennonite and Baha’i teachings on the subject.
Of course it is one thing to learn about a subject and quite another to put it into practice for your life. I am starting to able to recognize and catch my behavior (I am prone to judging and generalizing) and then put the situation into context in order to respond in a non-violent and love-filled manner. It doesn’t always come naturally though. Hopefully, with practice and more studies, I can (or should say will) create new behavior patterns in myself modeled after those who I am studying. I shall strive to commit myself both morally and practically to nonviolence.
However, I know there is a lot of work ahead of me and my reading list is not complete. I would be ever grateful for any books or authors that you could recommend to further my studies – please leave them in the comments!