Friday, July 05, 2013

The display of power may be a sign of anxiety

Read Thomas Moore's article "Soul Power: Nonviolence is the weapon of the brave" in The Intelligent Optimist magazine published 17 December 2012. Moore writes:
"In response to conflict, we often try to restrain our adversaries rather than empower them. The first move toward peace might be to take careful note of where violent people feel disempowered. To display your power is to show you are anxious about it. To perform atrocity and act violently is to reveal a profound confusion of mind and heart, an insanity that shows how far apart power and weakness are.
Today, our first goal might be to assure that all nations have the economic, political, and social empowerment they need. A second step is for those who have military might to explore what it would take to transmute that weaponry into power of soul. If a nation has stockpiled weapons and bad schools, that is a sign that the power issue is seriously off-kilter. Power of soul creates peace, and when there is peace there is so much to do, so much to create and sustain, that there could be no time or energy left over for the military. People who are totally involved in their works and families can’t imagine going off to war. It makes no sense."
Moore distinguishes between violence and aggression in this piece while defining peace: "Peace is not the absence of conflict or aggression. It is the transformation of brute power into strength of mind and heart. Peace is the humane focusing of anger and ambition on the needs of the world and on creative contributions to life and culture. Peace is an active thing, strong and bold."

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