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In 2007, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly established the 2nd of October, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, as the “International Day of Nonviolence”. This year, we celebrate the sixteenth anniversary of this commemoration.
Thanks to its thousands of volunteers, the Community for Human Development, a social and cultural grouping of the Humanist Movement, has been working for more than 50 years with the aim of establishing a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence in the world. A culture and a new consciousness that repudiates violence puts the human being as the central value and uses active nonviolence as a method of action.
A quick glance at the world reveals that the current situation is critical. Armed conflicts are raging in large parts of the world, coupled with a deep global financial crisis and the looming nuclear threat as an immediate emergency. In addition, recent “natural” disasters are claiming dramatic human losses, while so many others are drowning as they cross the sea in search of a better future. There are also those dying slowly in their addiction to fentanyl, which is already considered a pandemic in the United States, and the use of other drugs, legal or illegal.
Around the world, we are witnessing a worrying deepening of economic inequality, with a growing concentration of wealth that relegates the majority of the population to misery, exploitation and deprivation of their fundamental rights. Additionally, we are witnessing a resurgence of violent and discriminatory ideologies, masquerading as solutions to the current systemic crisis. This situation has led to an increase in social isolation, resignation, and a feeling of disorientation that has caused the appearance of symptoms of psychosocial discomfort, which represents a dangerous disconnection between the individual and his social environment.
This violence that manifests in society is also present inside the human being, who ends up competing at work, in the neighborhood… even competing with his own brother. Fearful of being left out. Of not being able to survive in this individualistic system. A system that locks people in a bubble woven with the threads of big data. A system that at first is comfortable but ends up being suffering and suffocating.
There are no longer any possible arguments that can justify the current barbarism. The illusion of happiness that the culture of money and “every man for himself” promotes is causing great disagreements between cultures and people. It is false and illusory to imagine that these serious problems will be resolved only thanks to the actions of governments or from the sectors of current world power that generate the crisis. It is necessary the reflect and decisive action by organizations and ordinary people who want to live in a better world. For this reason, today the purpose of The Community is more relevant than ever: the installation of a new humanist and nonviolent culture.
This new culture will be correlative with a configuration of advanced consciousness, in which all types of violence will induce disgust. The installation of such a structuring of nonviolent consciousness in societies would be a profound cultural achievement. It would go beyond thoughts and emotions that are slightly manifested in current societies, to begin to form part of the psychosomatic and psychosocial framework of the human being.
It is without a doubt worth celebrating the Day of Nonviolence this 2nd of October. To grow and strengthen this culture of Nonviolence as a new sensitivity that begins to express itself in growing opposition to different forms of violence and as a force capable of modifying the violent and inhumane direction of current events.
It is worth remembering the possibility of profound, personal and social change, offered by the methodology of action based on “Active Nonviolence.” This new attitude towards life has as its main tools:
- The rejection of, and a void towards, different forms of discrimination and violence.
- Non-collaboration with violent practices.
- Denunciation of all acts of violence and discrimination.
- Civil disobedience in front of institutionalized violence.
- Social and voluntary organization and mobilization in solidarity.
- Decisive support to everything which favors active nonviolence.
- The overcoming of the roots of violence in oneself, development of personal virtues and the best and most profound human aspirations.
The experience of violence is in our memory, but we have also the experience of having overcome and resisted it. This fair resistance to all forms of violence is what has allowed countries and people to advance throughout history. Nonviolence is the only way out because in it lies the strength to believe and create another world. We know that suffering can be defeated, we know that a personal state of increasing satisfaction can be achieved, and that this depends on the clarification that we make of the meaning of our life.
For all this, we encourage you to celebrate October 2nd with your eyes set on the future that we are already building thanks to diversity, joy, open communication, the encounter between people and cultures, and also the human being with himself.