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Love Your Enemy

Posted by Ryan Hall
05.31.16

By Robert Majors // Campaign Nonviolence Action Organizer and Associate

As I dive deeper into the study of nonviolence, I seek new ways to apply this very old practice. My observation of violence in the world around me led me to dive deeper into what it is we are trying to rid ourselves of. I am surrounded by music and art and in my appreciation for words I noticed an obvious similarity between violence, the violin, and the color violet. Confronted by love and beauty, I dissected my understanding of this “enemy” finding that to be violent is to have a powerful effect. It is obvious in both art and beauty that such violence, when applied correctly can have a powerful effect.

Then there is the power of nonviolence, appearing to me to be an oxymoron. So I searched my faith and referred to what it has taught me. Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, bury the dead, clothe the naked, care for the sick, visit the imprisoned, these are all powerful acts of beauty like the blooming violet flower on the trees in Las Vegas, but that flower dies and a seed takes its place. That seed is the power of nonviolence, when the power is passed on from the violence to grow. When we feed the poor it is an expression of letting go, whether it is of our food, our fear, or of our life. The same goes for the other works of mercy and the practice of nonviolence.

I hope this helps to understand the essence of violence as an effect that we can have compassion and love for. I do believe in loving your enemy, and from what I have read of nonviolence action, love is critical and creative when applied to the actions of nonviolence. As art moves our imagination and pushes us into action, I hope that this information does have a similar effect on the complacent awe that can overcome us when we approach the greatest powers of violence in the world. That power is meant to move us, and so we must move.

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