Violence in this world threatens our very existence. Violence is done to one’s self, to other people, and to nature, resulting to physical or psychological harm, death, and environmental destruction.
In the Philippines, as of April 23, 2017, there have been over 7,000 deaths, both from legitimate police operations and vigilante-style or unexplained killings (from rappler.com) since Duterte’s war on drug began from the start of his term in June 2016 up to the present – which is just more than a year by now. While in the ongoing battle in Marawi City, as of July 10, 2017, 507 people died. Of these, 379 were Muslim violent extremists; 39 were civilians; and 89 were government fatalities (military soldiers and police).
How do we convince President Duterte to tackle the war on drugs in a non-violent way? Why can’t he arrest the big drug lords instead? Why kill suspected drug lords and drug traders without impunity? The war on drugs is rooted in poverty, inequality, corruption, and materialism. Our society needs to become morally and spiritually renewed for the whole nation to be free from all unwanted elements and underdevelopment.
In the international scene, a power play goes on that says “might makes right”. Certain nations want to dominate the global arena while some nations are known to keep and manufacture nuclear arms for the purpose of defense or aggression. In a world that is threatened by war and other problems such as climate change, crimes, and terrorism, the ideology of non-violence is called for. A nuclear war is something that no one will ever want to have because it means annihilation of a great number of people, destruction of a vast magnitude, and radioactive contamination that can affect millions, if not billions of people.
How do we convince the nations’ leaders to make peace with all other nations? In this world, it appears that a show of military power is a show of a country’s strength or prowess. A show of military prowess and arms is a deterrent to being invaded, ousted from power, and worse, assassinated by invading forces. This is to understand the psychology of Kim Jong un. He does not want to suffer the fate of Saddam Hussein of Iraq and Muammad Khadafi of Libya in the hands of the American forces.
It is time for nations’ leaders to express humility, repentance and the desire for reconciliation in their words and actions. War is never an option. Nonviolence is the expression of a pure heart that seeks after Truth, the Truth being God Himself and the unity of all creation. We need to supplicate the living God to enlighten the world’s leaders so they may see that the ideology of nonviolence is much greater than the ideology of military might and aggression.
The way of peace is the way to progress and universal brotherhood, as teachers like Maulana Wahiduddin Khan and peacemakers have been rallying for. The way of nonviolence is filled with wisdom because it seeks to persuade the opponent through reason, diplomacy, and the search for Truth. Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of satyagraha or the search for Truth and his adoption of ahimsa or nonviolence are founded on the principle that life is sacred and shows the influence of Jesus Christ’s teaching of loving one’s enemies and turning the other cheek to the oppressor.
We should actively promote the way of peace and nonviolence through our own lives and call on nations’ leaders to respect life, choose humility and reconciliation with other countries in order to live peacefully to address the problems the world is facing right now such as climate change, poverty of millions of people, terrorism, and materialism. A recognition that we are all spiritual beings having physical existence for the purpose of realizing our unity with God and with one another is the first step to the search for Truth and the practice of nonviolence.