Peace Conference, Guest Speaker

by Elizabeth Tucker, SUNY Cortland

Posted in on Friday, Dec 5

Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi came to speak at SUNY Cortland on Friday October 31st at 7:30 pm in Sperry. He was a featured speaker at the Concerned Philosophers for Peace 21st annual conference. The lecture focused on the concept of non-violence.

We must look at non-violence not as a strategy but as part of our very being,; it is then that non-violence consumes our thinking and attitude and we can practice it effectively. To truly understand non-violence one must understand violence, what kind of violence is occurring and how much of it there is consciously and unconsciously.

Our culture commits passive violence by over-consuming our natural resources. Overconsumption is violence against nature, and when we buy in bulk we leave others in poverty, which is violence against humanity. Acts of passive violence consciously and unconsciously fuels the fire of physical violence; if we want to cut the physical violence we must cut the fuel. We must not build our relationships based in self-interest; we must have a more worldly view and realize that we are all connected. Our very safety and survival depends on the safety and survival of the people of the world. Our culture of violence dominates every aspect of our life, our speech, our relationships, our understanding etc. Violence is not our true nature; it is a learned experience and anything that is learned can also be unlearned. We must focus and channel our energy towards the good of all humanity. We can build peace brick by brick. By changing ourselves we can become the change we wish to see in the world.

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