Importance Of Bearing The Virtue Of Nonviolence In One’s Life
Last Tuesday, I attended the peace conference here at Seton Hall. Leading up to the event I did not know what to expect. My lecture was the opening lecture on the second day. It was titled, “The Human Person’s Responsibility for Peace, Nonviolence and Human Development.” The speaker was very intriguing as he spoke about efforts made by numerous world leaders to achieve peace through nonviolence. There were representatives from the Republic of Congo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Colombia all the conference. Together, they all tried to help the Catholic community try and commit to methods of nonviolence in everyday life. The speaker went on to say that nonviolence is human dignity. The speaker went on to say, “…nonviolence is the power of love in action.” Nonviolence was a virtue found in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus was an epitome of what it meant to be passive. He shared his knowledge and the word of God throughout it all. Jesus Christ is an ideal image of how nonviolence should be practiced in everyday life. We can find prime expressions of his path of nonviolence in the Gospel of Luke. To begin, in order to bear the virtue of nonviolence in one’s life, you must be willing to accept everyone no matter the circumstance. Race, gender, or religion should not come in between the process of establishing nonviolence. For Jesus, he was willing to go above and beyond to show compassion towards those who needed it.
This trait made Jesus successful in what he did; helping to spread God’s word across the land. Jesus performed a multitude of miracles helping those in need. In this instance, he was open to helping cure an individual of their leprosy. At the time, people with leprosy were quarantined and exiled as the disease was very contagious. But Jesus took the man in with open arms willing to help in. Practicing the manner of nonviolence. Luke writes, “And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’ Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ Immediately the leprosy left him. And He charged him to tell no one, ‘But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as a testimony to them, just as Moses commanded’ (Luke 5 12-14). Many would have turned their heads at the sight of a leper. But Jesus did the exact opposite in this excerpt from Luke’s Gospel. He gave nothing but open arms to an individual. Nonviolence isn’t all about stopping world wars or ending fights. Nonviolence can be expressed as being amicable to each other as well. That was one of the points that stuck with me at the peace conference. I’m aware that I do not hold much power or authority anywhere to be honest. I know I will not be negotiating with infamous terrorist organizations in Uganda or making plans to end civil wars in Colombia. But I can make an impact in my spiritual community utilizing effective nonviolent strategies just as Jesus did.
The peace conference was very informational and learned how people are utilizing the ways of nonviolence today. Before the conference I was unaware of how much work and effort is being done to achieve world peace. Growing up in the United States, I did not believe violence to be much of an issue. But seeing what other places go through to achieve for basic human rights, demilitarization, and freedom, I feel grateful to be raised in an area and time where achieving nonviolence in my community isn’t an issue. But the United States is far from perfect. There is a lot this country needs to work on if we’re to take steps towards the goal of nonviolence. School shooting seems to happen regularly. Violence should not be a solution to anything. Jesus was not popular with many groups of people because of his style of teaching. Through his peaceful works, he was able to gain a following rapidly through nonviolence. I truly believe everyone can do so with the right mindset and attitude towards attaining peace whether it be worldwide or in your local community The peace conference was an eye-opening ordeal. I was able to listen to an individual who is putting work towards peace in the world. Nowadays, there doesn’t seem to be much of it. These individuals and many others mentioned in the conference is following the footsteps of Jesus Christ and they strive towards making the world a better place for everyone to inhabit through the numerous methods of non-violence.
- The Holy Bible: New International Version. The Gideons International in the British Isles, 2012