Distrust: Daily Metta

Michael Nagler Posted by Michael Nagler.

Michael is founder and president of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and the author of Our Spiritual Crisis and The Search for a Nonviolent Future, which received a 2002 American Book Award and has been translated into several languages.


Distrust: Daily Metta

“Distrust is a sign of weakness and Satyagraha implies the banishment of all weakness and therefore of distrust, which is clearly out of place when the adversary is not to be destroyed but to be won over.”  ~ Gandhi, Satyagraha in South Africa, p. 302

What a rich sentence! For now, let’s just savor the last clause, the in satyagraha we are out to win over, never destroy or even—ideally—in any material way injure the opponent. This is why nonviolence, when properly understood and practiced, namely in this spirit, is a community-building process; we can even call it the essential ingredient of positive, lasting social change and the core of the “New Story” of human existence. It and it alone could dissolve the spirit (I almost said religion) of competition that is tearing down this year’s presidential election, and degrading human relationships in general.

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About Daily Metta

Stephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence.

Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide.

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