Nonviolent Resistance in the Face of Hostility: Walking towards Conflict with Care for All

by Miki Kashtan

(Below is an excerpt of the article that you can find on Medium)


It is no non-violence if we merely love those that love us. It is non-violence only when we love those that hate us.” — Gandhi1

Nonviolent resistance is not for the faint of heart. In some circles, it is seen with some contempt as passivity. In how I see it, nonviolence, when practiced in its full depth, is an active form of standing up to power with full love. Most people know of the most visible and clear examples of nonviolent resistance which are mass mobilizations of many people influencing large scale events, such as India’s independence, the Civil Rights Movement in the US, or the Solidarity movement in Poland. Fewer people understand the role that nonviolent resistance can play in smaller-scale situations, including interpersonal relationships.

In this piece I am writing about one such situation, which is a difficult one that the pod I am part of is in with the owners of the house where we are now staying for the next few months. The situation emerged within 24 hours after we moved in. In response to us raising a number of concerns about the basic functionality within the house, the owners asked us to leave. Instead of the either/or of acquiescing to this or relying on state agencies to fight against them, I chose to take a different path of relating to them within a presumed togetherness, as fellow humans, and aiming for a solution that works for them and for us. This, which I hold to be evolutionarily accurate, is fully at odds with how patriarchal societies function.

There is a lot in this piece, and it’s long. My pieces often are, and not accidentally, something I speak of later. If it’s daunting for you as the reader, I invite you to skip to the part I most want people to take in, which is the section called “aiming for the most love possible.” This kind of love, in this case, is leading me, first of all, to know that I have no reason to expose these human beings in any way, and therefore I am choosing to call them Susan and Fred.

Full article to be read on Medium

1 All men are brothers: Life and thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi as told in his own words (p. 86)


Nonviolence, drawing by A. Yaren Kose


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This is a space for discussing tough subjects: both personal experiences and the massive challenges in the wider world. The culture of this blog is one of looking for the possibility of forward movement through loving engagement, even, and especially, in times of disagreement. Please practice nonviolence in your comments by combining truth and courage with care for me and others you’re in dialogue with.

One thought on “Nonviolent Resistance in the Face of Hostility: Walking towards Conflict with Care for All

  1. Ruth Persky

    I read the whole story this afternoon as another way of sanctifying Shabbos, admittedly, a non-orthodox method. I believe what I’ve learned about what caring about the other person includes will contribute to my becoming a better human being.


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