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Borders of Non-Violent Resistance

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Borders of Non-Violent Resistance

When I think about violence towards another human being, I start thinking about the consequences that are going to come about afterwards and then I start thinking, what's the point? That's probably why I have never been a fight in my life, physically that is. I look at all these people on TV or in the media "standing up for what they believe in", but where do you draw the line from getting violent to get your beliefs across to just taking the calm approach? In today's society if you want to be heard, you either have to blow up a building, kill several thousand people or get violent in some other way. Right now in the world today, I can not think of one person in the media that is currently standing for what they believe in without getting violent. It seems like everybody I think of is in the past. Take Mohandas K. Gandhi for instance. He was a man that lived a long time ago that had many borders to cross to get his point across to people. He faced many challenges, lots of oppression and tyranny, but he never raised his fist in a thought of violence. Because he was so loved by the people, everyone started to follow his ways and eventually stopped the violence and stood up and showed their beliefs in more peaceful ways without fighting. This is a man that should be the ideal role model for society when we think about going to war. I'm not just talking about war with other countries; I'm talking about war with our words towards others and war with our actions when we get frustrated or angry with other people. A really poignant quote that stood in my mind that came straight from Gandhi

's mouth in

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the movie was this; "Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man." In my mind, Gandhi

is basically saying that a man using his brain instead of a gun is more destructible that the man using the gun. Because the man using the gun may be able to take one quick pull of the trigger and shoot a bullet, but sooner or later that man is going to run out of bullets and then what do they do if the other man is still standing or if there are more like him still standing there waiting? Gandhi

was trying to change a specific thing and that is usually how it is when someone stands up to be heard.

In today's society whenever you hear someone throwing a fit or starting a war in some way, it is usually over religion, because everybody believes that they are right and that everyone else just needs to shut up and sit down. I am a born again Christian and I firmly believe in standing up and showing that I am a follower of god. But today more than ever, that is extremely hard to do. When I sit at home reading through the bible I come up with so much violence and hatred toward believers and followers of god and believe it or not, history does repeat itself. But even though there is much violence between the people, there are a few characters that do stand up for what they believe in without getting violent. Take Peter for example, this is a man in the book of Acts that is basically a missionary for god and travels from town to town preaching the good news to those that don't know about god. He arrives at this town and is preaching the word to the

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unbelievers and when the authorities find out, they beat him and drag him out of the town and throw him outside the city gates. What does Peter do you may ask? Well, he gets up, dusts himself off and heads right back into the town. This is a perfect example of standing up for your beliefs without getting violent. There are many people in "the good book" like Peter but he is just one that I thought of. Now you may ask what the significance of telling that story about Peter was. Well, the whole point to my essay is standing up for your religion without getting violent through the persecution of others. And in today's society that's a really hard thing to do because everyone has their beliefs and opinions and they all think that they are right. The people that crashed the planes into the world trade center towers on September 11, 2001 were standing up for what they believed in. They believed that god (Allah, in their words) told them to do it. They died for what they believed in, but unfortunately they did it in a violent way and took thousands of people to the grave with them. As you sit here reading this paper, look at your life. Think back to high school and try to remember how kids used to treat you or how you treated others. Did you do things in a violent way because people weren't the same as you? When I look back, I was pretty much an all around jock all through high school. I would go to the parties on Friday and Saturday nights and I would get really drunk with everyone and not remember a thing on Sunday morning. My senior year my life changed and I accepted god into my life for the first time. This was an extremely hard thing to do because it was so hard to stand

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up for my Christianity, and give up the past at the same time. Everyday, I was persecuted by my "friends" because I started reading the bible instead of drinking a beer. They all still liked me and we got a long, but sometimes it was so hard to stand up for my beliefs. Now, I'm not a violent guy, I never have been. I have always had a lot of fear in my life, but I have never been violent. I have always had fear of what others would think or say or do and I think that has also helped out the fact that I have never done anything really outrageous or irrational. Whenever somebody would test my faith, I would and still to this day test him or her right back. For example if someone asks me the question, "How do you actually know that there is a god and that he created the entire world?" Well, I just turn back on them and ask the question, "How do you know that there is not and that he didn't?" I think that there are many, many ways to stand up for what you believe in and make your point across without getting violent.

Another point that relates to this subject, is that everybody in this world today are so caught up about what people think and what they will say or what they will do. And I will be the first to admit that I think these things sometimes also, but I think that when we overcome these frustrations, it will be so much easier to share our faith with others and not be afraid because Christianity is



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