the art of bodies in motion

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ahimsa : When Will it Work?

I have always wondered why non-violent protest worked so well in India with the British and has not yet succeeded in China with the Tibetans. It seems clear to me, finally, and probably should have been obvious all along!

Our human decency is called to account when we are held, and hold ourselves, personally responsible for our individual and collective actions. When we do not claim or accept responsibility for our own governance, we allow not only our human decency but also our intelligence to fall to the wayside. (This is clearly demonstrated in China, but also in the US where its citizens allow businesses free reign without recognition of individual responsibility for actions made on behalf of "business interests," and even, half-humorously, in French daily life where the statement "Ce n'est pas ma faut" ("It's not my fault") is quickly followed by outrageous accusations against the accuser.)

This personal epiphany of understanding was sparked on reading the Dalai Lama's statement in honor of the 52nd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day this morning, and so I share it with you, here.