Monday, January 16, 2006


In a world of violence, terrorism, abuse, and murder, we are faced with the most pressing challenge to either sit still in cowardice or to violently over throw the oppressive forces that hold us down.

Unfortunately, neither of these extremes are the answer.

Virtue, as Aristotle put it, is the center of two opposing vices. The virture of courage is the center between cowardice and violence.

As Martin Luther King said:

It must be emphasized that nonviolent resistance is not a method for cowards; it does resist. If one uses this method because he is afraid or merely because he lacks the instruments of violence, he is truly nonviolent. This is why Gandhi often said that if cowardice is the only alternative to violence, it is better to fight. -Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, 1958

There is an alternative to violence that does not hide in the tremblings of a faint heart. There is indeed courage -a courage that found in the acts of nonviolence. A courage that is found in Romero, King, and Gandhi.

Ramon Saul Sanchez

Via Blog for Cuba and 26thparallel I read about the nonviolent courage of a Ramon Saul Sanchez that is taking place in Miami. Ramon has been on hunger strike for change in Cuba since January 7th, and you won't hear anything about this in the main stream media because of their fear of anyone who believes in anything contrary to their ideology.

Given that I write this on the close of Martin Luther King Day I am again reminded of another quote of his:

Many people fear nothing more terrible than to take a position, which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion. The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambigious that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody. -Strength to Love, 1963

Have we as a society become so complancent that we overlook the stand of brave individuals like Ramon? Have we as Cuban-Americans become so wrought with the comfort of our lives that now we sit and wait for el barbudo to die? Or is there hope that there are more people out there like Ramon willing to take the courage and stand with all that one has to end hatred in this world? Have we lost our courage to the memory and celebration of one day a year, or is it possible that the greats of the past can still inspire us today to have the courage to face the challenges of tomorrow?

The intellectual and moral satisfaction that I failed to gain from the utilitarianism of Bentham and Mill, the revolutionary methods of Marx and Lenin, the social contract theory of Hobbes, the 'back to nature' optimism of Rousseau, and the superman philosophy of Nietzsche, I found in the non-violent resistance philosophy of Gandhi. -MLK

You must be the change you want to see in the world. -Mahatma Gandhi

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