Last month’s Westgate mall attack in Kenya in which more than 60 people, including women and children, were killed, could just have been a fraction in the precipice of violence in the world, but being at our regional doorstep, there is more reason to mull over the need to enforce a violence-free life.
But you wouldn’t even get started if you didn’t first understand the idea of violence in all its manifestation.
Considering the amount of escalating violence in the world, October 2 is always marked as, “Non violence day” by the United Nations.
Mostly, what people understand by non-violence is avoiding the physically violent deeds. But it is basically of three kinds. First, is by speech.
A person can hurt his fellow human being by using harsh, abusive words. An individual can incite riots by giving a hate filled speech. This kind of violence is as bad as the act of physical violence, i.e. hitting anybody physically.
The third type is violence by thought. A person can harbour violent and bad thoughts about someone in his mind, though he may not execute them.
Such thoughts do not hurt anybody, but are considered to be violence of a kind. The one harbouring such thoughts can definitely not be peaceful mentally and would remain stressed.
True state of absolute non violence can be attained only when violence by words, action and thoughts, all can be removed.
Ego, greed and jealousy are the main basic causes underlying violence. An individual with inflated ego usually does not like anybody opposing his views and may become violent.
Greed for acquiring power, fame and wealth has been the basic cause for much violence perpetuated at community as well as global level. Greed to capture resources or wealth of another person is yet another reason for many actions of violence committed by criminals.
Jealousy on seeing another person with better things or resources, also leads to violence.
To adopt a policy of absolute non violence, it is necessary that people understand these underlying causes of violence. If every person can overcome his ego and greed, it will be a big step in curbing violence.
A person may be a big man in some way, but he should realise that there are millions like him in this ocean of humanity. Religious scriptures teach one to curb greed, not to covet the wealth of others.
Jealousy is yet another negative trait which needs to be controlled. If a person learns to be happy in the achievement of others, feels good to see others prosper, he will always remain happy and carefree. No thoughts of violence will ever enter his head.
If all people practice to shun these negative traits, the violence going around will be much reduced and the world will become a much better place. In a non violent atmosphere, all shall be stress free and can work better. This shall definitely augment prosperity as well as happiness, world over.
Dr. Rachna Pande is a specialist in internal medicine at Ruhengeri Hospital.