Jen Thorpe
Jen Thorpe

Why I believe in non-violence

I believe in non-violence.

That means that I don’t stand for any organisation or belief that encourages or perpetuates violence.

I think of feminism as a non-violent movement to end sexist oppression. I think of being a part of the environmental movement as a non-violent movement to protect the animals, plants and air that we love, live on and breathe. I’m a vegetarian because I don’t believe in violence against animals. I also believe that these two movements align really well with one another and that if we don’t take care of our planet, the resulting droughts, floods and famine will mean more violence against women.

I don’t think you can be a good person if you advocate violence in any form. Not against the baddies. Not against those who are violent. Not against murderers, rapists or giant corporations that don’t listen to the voices of those who should. I think now more than ever we must eschew violence, however tempting it may become to get back at those who have wronged us, or who we believe have wronged a group or association that we belong to.

Because the bottom line is that violence breeds violence. Violence creates hate and hurt and pain. Violence never achieves positive ends. And if you’re a member of a non-violent community and espousing violence elsewhere, then you’re not really non-violent. This doesn’t mean you justify violence against yourself but it means that you must recognise that you are part of a system that encourages violence. You are part of the cycle.

You can’t be a peaceful person with hate in your heart. So let it go. You can’t create a system of non-violence if you are violent. So start with yourself and break the cycle.

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