1/22/2014

The Necessity of Peaceful Resistance

It is an unfortunate truth that most people choose, whether knowingly or unknowingly, to live in a state of witless conformity. By electing to be weak and servile in their actions, by following the foolish trends of the passing moment and refusing to pursue the potential of their own thoughts, they blithely lend their passive support to the widespread tyranny under which we all are condemned to live from day to day. What they fail to comprehend is that only by honestly acknowledging, and wholeheartedly embracing, the necessity of peaceful resistance can any person ever aspire to be a free human being, rather than merely a willing slave.

Whether it is a father or a mother attempting to subdue the will of their child, a teacher seeking to restrain the inquisitive mind of a student, a religion crushing the honest spirit of a believer, a corporation exploiting the trust of the public, or a government exercising sinister control over its citizens, we are threatened by the heartless power of tyranny, both nearby and distant, throughout our lives. We can comply, meekly or otherwise, with the unjust demands of our oppressors, thereby losing any claim to freedom and violating any pretense of integrity, or we can strive to take a principled stand, as necessary, and resist to the best of our ability.

The cost of resistance frequently can be high, particularly when open rebellion through peaceable means (which always is morally preferable to any form of violence) is met with harsh penalties, or, in the worst instances, is countered by a brutish response of ruthless force, but the final cost of servility is much higher. A single act of nonviolent resistance, even when humbly executed, can change the course of a given situation, allowing the peaceful resister to transcend the seeming might of authority, while also being a first step toward redeeming the humanity of those who are oppressed.