disagree without hostility

this is reposted from Metta Center website

“Relationships are the very basis of nonviolence. The person who is trained in nonviolence will not passively avoid difficult conversations and differences of opinion when they matter, but they will use a form of discrimination and self-restraint in deciding what is important to disagree about and when to keep quiet and wait it out. Who knows, maybe the person who disagrees with us has some truth in what they are saying– if not about the subject itself, then perhaps we get a glimpse into some experience that formed this person’s view, and it gives us pause. A hostile attitude on our behalf might keep us from learning something new, or seeing another person in a new light. Not to mention that hostility is rooted in a desire to harm the other; while the actual definition of the term ahimsa, from which the term nonviolence is derived, is “the extinction of the desire to harm.” When we interrupt hostility within ourselves, we interrupt a cycle of violence.”

read full text here


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