WAYS TO PRACTICE NONVIOLENCE
Used by the permission of A Season for Nonviolence-Los Angeles
We learn to practice
nonviolence one step at a time, one choice at a time, one day
at a time. Through our daily nonviolent choices and actions,
the noble and courageous spirit within each of us expresses
itself as the skills, wisdom and character of a nonviolent human
being. This is how we each, in our own way, move the world in
a direction of peace.
To listen to the 64 ways to practice nonviolence,
just click on the practice heading.
begins by learning how to be less violent and more compassionate
with ourselves. We learn by building the courage to speak and
act with a respect, honor and reverence for our own being
Roosevelt urged, You must do the things that you think you cannot
do. Practicing these 64 Ways will challenge you to do things that
you think you cannot do. Today, light a candle and accept the
courage to practice 64 Ways of living nonviolently.
teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh said, If in our daily life, we can smile....not
only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic
kind of peace work. Today, share a smile with at least three people,
knowing that your smile contributes to peace.
Hay says, Praise yourself as much as you can....the love in our
lives begins with us....loving yourself will help heal this planet.
Write down 10 things that you appreciate about yourself. Read
aloud what you have written.
to Peter McWilliams, Nonviolence toward the self is caring for
oneself. Self-love a crowning sense of self-worth ... it is what
the Greeks call reverence for the self. Real caring is not just
what we say, but what we do. Make a list of at least five ways
that you can take better care of yourself. Practice at least one
Wayne Dyer writes about the impact that our beliefs have on our
daily lives. Today believe that you have all the resources to
move your life in the direction of peace. Be aware of simple,
peaceful responses you receive.
is to invite peacefulness. Think of three ways you can simplify
your life and put at least one of them into practice today.
strengthens your conviction and deepens your wisdom and understanding.
Learn about the power of nonviolence by educating yourself. Read
an article, periodical or book; watch a video on a subject that
relates to nonviolence. Learn about human rights, diversity, ecology,
history, politics, forgiveness, spirituality, peace studies, biographies
of heroes and more.
poet, activist, and professor Maya Angelou turned a traumatic
childhood experience into a catalyst for creativity and achievement.
Today, choose a painful incident in your life and find the gift
it has given you. Consciously share this gift with others.
Luther King, Jr., had a great dream. What is your own dream for
peace? Write it down. What is one thing you can do to honor your
dream? Do it today.
Chavez was organizing farm workers, he challenged them to say,
Si, se puede (yes, it is possible) when they didn't know how they
would overcome obstacles. Today, say, Yes, it is possible, even
if you don't know how your goal will be realized. Have faith and
say, it is possible, until you find a way.
least three minutes, relax, breathe, and let your mind be fed
by whatsoever is good and beautiful. Sacred scripture states,
as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.
said, To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget
ourselves. And Black Elk said, Some little root of the sacred
tree still lives. Nourish it, that it may leaf and bloom and fill
with singing birds. Today place a seed in the earth or nurture
thing you can do to a human soul is to suppress its natural desire
to create. Identify at least five ways in which you express your
creativity everyday. Today, allow something unpredictable and
joyous to express through you.
mistakes is a part of learning and growing, simply an error in
approach. Today, freely acknowledge at least one mistake you make
and reflect for a couple of minutes on what you have learned.
John Muir said, Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places
to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give
strength to body and soul. Today go for a walk and realize the
beauty around, above and below you.
show Oprah Winfrey frequently promotes the daily practice of gratitude.
Begin the day by listing five things for which you are grateful
and end it by sharing with one person all of the good things that
happened to you today.
right thing. Spike Lee used these words as a title for one of
his movies. When faced with a choice today, listen to your conscience.
You know what’s right. Do it.
rights activist Diane Nash said, Freedom, by definition, is people
realizing that they are their own leaders. Take a leadership role
today in your own life. Find one way you can be more expressive
of who you truly are.
fear, criticism, and guilt cause more problems than anything else,
says Louise Hay. Today, choose not to judge yourself (your looks,
your capabilities, your expression). See yourself as unique, loving,
capable and bright!
judge yourself, you tend to believe that who you are is what you
have done or not done, what you have or don't have. Knowing that
who you are is greater than all these things, today, forgive yourself
for forgetting the good that is in you.
of at least two people who exemplify the practice of nonviolence.
What is it you admire about them? Practice these behaviors today
so that other people may be inspired.
is my message, says Gandhi. Write down what you want to stand
for in your life. Note at least one way you can show, through
action, that you stand for your beliefs. Take this action today.
from the heart can achieve what nothing else in the world can,
said Gandhi. Begin and end the day with a prayer for peace. Let
peace begin with you.
to create a peaceful world, we must learn to practice nonviolence
with one another in our day-to-day interactions.
not to engage in any form of gossip today contributes to harmony.
Today, choose to see the good in others rather than finding fault.
Will Rogers, strangers were simply friends he hadn't met. View
those you encounter today in that light. Make a new acquaintance.
taught, Language is an exact reflection of the character and growth
of its speakers. Today, respect yourself and others by choosing
not to use any profanity or put downs.
Teresa said, There is a hidden poverty more pervasive than lack
of money. It is the poverty of the heart. Find three ways to generously
give of your time, attention and resources to others.
stop what you are doing and take five minutes to listen to the
feelings behind someone’s words to you. Be fully present
for the conversation and be interested in what the person is saying.
forgive, we do not condone hurtful behavior. When we realize that
there is something within us that is more important than this
wounding experience, we are free to let go of the past and move
on with our lives. Today, write a letter to forgive someone. You
do not have to mail it.
today. Apologize to someone you may have hurt and mean your apology
helps people to grow. Offer praise to at least three people today
for their personal qualities, achievements, or helpful service.
to Caesar Chavez, Nonviolence is not inaction ... It is hard work
... It is the patience to win. When your plans seemed delayed,
choose to be patient by identifying at least three ways that you
can constructively use this time to support your goal.
someone today what a difference he or she has made in your life.
Acknowledge that person for being there for you. Make this a day
when you don't take people for granted.
wrote, Nonviolence is based on the assumption that human nature
... unfailingly responds to the advances of love. Today, focus
on what you appreciate most about the person you like the least.
Nhat Hanh says, When you understand, you cannot help but love...practice
looking at all living beings with the eyes of compassion. Send
a silent thought of love to ten people today. Share your experience
just act in each moment, with composure and mindfulness, each
minute of our life is a work of art. Be aware of the motivation
behind your action, the intention behind your words, and the needs
and experiences of other people. By doing so, you are making life
more beautiful for others.
are out driving today, be more courteous. Give others the right
of way and stop and let pedestrians cross the street.
day we hear of random and senseless acts of violence. Participate
in the counter-revolution of kindness started by Anne Herbert.
Perform three acts of kindness today.
Williamson describes a healthy society as one in which those who
disagree can do so with honor and respect for other people's opinions,
and an appreciation for our shared humanity. In the Desiderata
by Max Ehrmann, he says, Speak your truth quietly and clearly
and listen to others. Today, speak up but do not enter into the
spirit of argument.
give variety to life and are often only on the surface anyway.
Today look for three ways to see beyond outer differences in opinions,
appearances, or goals. Find the meeting point of underlying unity
that exists in diversity.
proverb says, He who builds himself a fence, fences out more than
he fences in. Today be open to understanding ideas and people
that you have previously opposed.
situations, personal accountability allows us to take responsibility
for how I contribute to the conflict. Today, take responsibility
for how you contribute to a conflict and make a different choice
that can lead to a peaceful resolution.
says that the greatest need people have is for love and approval.
Praise, compliment and honor the uniqueness of at least five people
today. Notice the positive impact you make by valuing the individuality
of each one.
work together, we are stronger than when we work alone. Today,
find one significant way that you can cooperate more effectively
with the people in your family or workplace, school or community.
organizer Caesar Chavez teaches, If you use violence, you have
to sell part of yourself for that violence. Then you are no longer
a master of your own struggle. Breathe deeply, silently counting
backwards from ten to calm yourself and cool off before you speak
or act with impatience or anger. Do this as least once today.
Teresa implored us to find someone who thinks he is alone and
let him know that he is not. Today, do as Mother Teresa suggests.
challenges us to stand for truth by taking action that honors
the dignity and worth of every human being.
conversation with someone today about what the world would be
like if there were no weapons nor any need for them. Imagine such
the earth by conserving natural resources and avoiding the purchase
of products that deplete rain forests or exploit labor forces.
Practice recycling today by using at least one recycled product
or by recycling a product.
Einstein said, There are only two ways to live your life. One
is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything
is. Before each meal today, stop to honor all the hands that brought
it to you and to bless the earth for its bounty.
today of any jokes or remarks that show disrespect toward ethnic
groups, women or men, classes of people, religious groups, gays
or lesbians. Be considerate of every person's dignity, and choose
not to participate in disrespectful conversation.
stands up to violence, says Thich Nhat Hanh, a force for change
is released. Every action for peace requires someone to exhibit
the courage to challenge violence and inspire love. Today be an
ally. Without blaming or judging others, speak out for those who
ever noticed the groups of people who are under-represented in
your activities and lifestyle? Find one way to connect with a
person from these groups today.
us can work to change a small portion of events and in the total
of all those acts will be written the history of this generation,
said Robert Kennedy. Today, find a way to make one, small change
that will contribute to the well-being of your home, school, workplace
generosity by sharing time, energy and material resources with
those in need. Clean out your closet, bureau drawers, or garage.
Are there things you Aaron’t using that might be of value
to someone else? Today give away what you are no longer using.
of your community starts with you. Take responsibility for the
quality of your community wherever you are. Today, pick up trash
that is not your own, whether at home, at the office, or on the
street. Every little bit helps.
need the dignity of work and the opportunity to provide for themselves
and their families. Economic self-sufficiency is a requirement
for a nonviolent world. Today, create a job for someone or help
someone to find employment (examples: help them with a resume
or application. Help them make phone calls, dress appropriately,
Luther King, Jr. said, Everybody can be great ... because anybody
can serve ... You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated
by love. Sign up to volunteer a minimum of two hours this month
with an organization of your choice. Share your commitment with
at least one person.
Muller, former assistant secretary general to the UN, urges, Use
every letter you write, every conversation you have, every meeting
you attend, to express your fundamental beliefs and dreams. Today
call or write one of your legislators and register your views.
and drug abuse is both a consequence and a cause of violence.
Today have the courage to intervene in a caring way with someone
who is using alcohol or drugs. Through your honest and straightforward
communication, encourage them to get educated, get help, get sober
and free from drugs.
each other's bond, writes poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Those who practice
nonviolence cannot close their eyes to injustice or cruelty. We
are here to be a witness for justice and compassion. Today be
willing to stand up for Truth by your presence, your words and
year old writes, Peace is a special thought or a special love
or light or spark that we all share within ourselves. Thich Nhat
wrote, Practice watering seeds of joy and peace and not just seeds
of anger and violence, and the elements of war in all of us will
be transformed. Today, make a choice to meet each experience with
an intention for peace.
five minutes reflecting on your commitment to nonviolence. Write
down what it means to you and what you are willing to do as a
consequence of your commitment to it. Make your commitment public
by sharing it with at least 2 people.
proverb says, When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the spirit
laughs for what it has found. Today look back on how far you have
come during this 64 day journey. Release the weight of your past,
judgments of yourself and others, and the idea that world peace
is not possible by acknowledging that you do make a difference.
in the work that you have done. Celebrate the journey that you
have made with countless others who believe that every individual
can move the world in the direction of peace with their nonviolent
choice and action. Margaret Mead said Never doubt that a small
group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed
it is the only thing that ever has.
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