The ongoing cycle of suffering and violence can never be broken with more suffering and violence.
It is no surprise that violence brings nothing but suffering into this world; whether it be through war and abuse of power, or violence within our own homes. My mom always used to tell me, “hurt people hurt people,” a line which has stuck with me to this day.
When someone hurts us, our immediate reaction is usually to hurt the other person back in defense (although really one is just defending a mental construct that they identify with within their own mind, but that’s besides the point). This relates closely to the principle of the Law of Retaliation, or “an eye for an eye.” But like Mahatma Gandhi said, “an eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”
Now this is not to say that we should take violence from others, but rather learn how to become nonreactive towards it. When we come from a place of non-reactivity, from a place of inner peace, we then hold the power to break the cycle of violence and suffering instead of contributing to it. We then become the impact for positive change just by living in that state of mind.
If we all came from a place of peace and love, to promote progress instead of the “us” versus “them” mentality, we could achieve great things in this world, beautiful things. If we focused on building and bringing each other up instead of attacking and pulling each other down, so much unnecessary suffering could be avoided, and there would be no limit to the things that we could create in this world, as well as the experiences we could create in our own lives.
So from the words of Yoko Ono and John Lennon, “All we are saying is give peace a chance.” (click here to view the video)