Those who fail to learn from history, are doomed to
Hindsight is 20/20, here we will try
to consolidate the positive lessons. In the brief case studies we can only scratch the
surface. We cannot recommend the books in the bibliography
enough! Only there will you get a real flavor for what happened to these leaders and
Non-violence requires a "leap of faith"
- To disarm yourself after your home and family have been bombed, to happily allow
yourself to be beaten senseless while offering no resistance may not make a lot of
Things can change - So often we can
become trapped because "that is the way it is", we just sit in the back of
the bus . . . that is the way it is here. But never believe that just because
"that is the way it is" -- makes it right, or that it can't be changed tomorrow.
People can change - Real change comes
from within. The example of nonviolence, the willing suffering people undergo can melt the
hearts of the opposition. It is human nature to justify our "cruel or unkind"
acts because it was someone else's fault. When that other person treats you with love, and
fails to return evil for evil -- there is cause for introspection.
There will be doubts, disagreements and failures
- King failed in some attempts, so did Gandhi -- they both knew what it was like to fall
flat on your face. There is disagreement and dissension in any large movement (and
especially when people care deeply about an issue). Those differences will be exploited by
the opposition. Satyagraha while calling for love, respect & concern for your
oppressor, certainly asks the same for the members of your own movement.
Publicity is valuable - The focus of
newspapers and cameras helped deliver the message to everyone. Both movements exploited
publicity, Gandhi and King were prolific writers. Their actions caught the fascination of
the common person.
Have faith in what you believe - You
must have the courage of your convictions and the willingness to follow through. There are
999 admirers of virtue, and one person with virtue. Do what you think is right -- even if
no one else joins you and you march alone.
Requires action of the masses - These
movements were done by the poor people, it doesn't require a college degree. People need
to come together, to hear speeches, to become energized. The leadership must show the
example. A movement across a large region does NOT have to be coordinated. You do NOT need
central control and scheduling. You just need to be organized by your common
belief and express your concerns in a similar manner. This allows the movement to
spread very quickly and to the smallest towns.