Peace vs. Disruption

Excellent topic.

Gandhi has long been my gold standard for effecting change. His principle, satyagraha, incorporates non-violence, truthfulness and active resistance to bring change.

As counterpoint, a principle of attitude change, from a social psychology course in my college years, stated that attempts to change folks’ attitudes in major increments are less productive than smaller, incremental steps. Consistent I believe with the community effort you engaged in after the November election.

Mutually exclusive approaches? As a satyagrahi, Gandhi emphasized action. Chained to a bridge, building, bulldozer or bomb I view all as actions while honoring non-violent principles. The point from the social psychologists on attitude change does not preclude action but suggests moderation in choosing those actions.

Some protesters on Inauguration Day formed barricades with their bodies to make the route to the event difficult to navigate. No broken windows, no smashed police cars and no interpersonal violence. A passive action? Certainly a non-violent action.

I am too old to appreciate viral videos, flash mobs and such. I would also concede that with successive generations the choice of methods to produce change has to consider the target audience. That said, I see no useful place for violence in any circumstance.

Big oaks from little acorns spring.

Far from original, a phrase I grew up hearing from my grandmother.

Thanks, Meg.

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