Nonviolent resistance is fetishized through cultural memory as being easy, but it’s really not.
There’s a story in Malcolm Galdwell’s book David and Goliath that he takes from Diane McWhorter’s book Carry Me Home, where a man is giving a speech and he is attacked. The crowd at the speech at first believes that the attack is part of the speech, but quickly realizes that it is not.
The man giving the speech, instead of responding with violence toward his attacker as a form of defense, became his assailant’s protector, singing him songs and wrapping him in an embrace. Eventually, the attacker is introduced to the crowd as a guest.
The man whispers to his attacker before introducing him to the crowd “We’re going to win.”
How many times in our lives do we respond to an attack with aggression, passive resistance, apathy or even outright violence?
Responding to an attack with nonviolence—and following that response all the way to its logical conclusion, which may involve the potential for death—is the single most courageous act David can perform against Goliath.
“We are going to win.” But, Martin Luther King knew that nonviolence unto death was the only courageous way to accomplish that win.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: firstname.lastname@example.org