Len Hjarlmarson has a GREAT POST about Parker Palmer and how our knowledge causes violence. I like Palmer’s definition of violence:
“It is important to recognize that to do violence to each other we need not drop a bomb or hit someone with a stick. We do violence in much more subtle ways. My operating definition of violence is that violence always involves violating the integrity of the other. We do violence whenever we violate the integrity or the nature of the other, whether the other is the earth, or another human being, or another culture.”
This is why I can’t be a pacifist with any kind integrity. It’s because I have learned and perfected the subtler ways of inflicting violence and violating the integrity of others. I yell at my kids. I can vie for a position of dominance simply with a glance. I can manipulate with a carefully turned phrase. And sometimes I just get pissed off because I don’t get my way.
Len’s post reminds me of my inward nature and my propensity toward violence.
Yet, while I may not be able to view myself as a pacifist, I believe there are spiritual disciplines of pacifism or peace — exercises of solitude, silence, sacrifice, submission and secrecy. Len’s post reminds me that although I may not hit someone or kill someone, I still need to follow the Prince of Peace, in order to become a man of peace in the fullest sense.