Our Essential Oneness

vincentFrom Vincent Harding in Hope and History: Why We Must Share the Story of the Movement (1990):

Who knows, perhaps with insight, courage and serious study we could introduce ourselves and our students of all ages to some of the basic tenets of this nonviolent way, exploring such convictions as:

  1. The fundamental unity of all creation, including our essential oneness with those we call “enemy.”
  2. The deep and often hidden capacities in human beings to become much more than we realize; to approach much more closely the essential oneness of life; to create many more social, political, and economic manifestations of our unity than we dream.
  3. The purpose of true civilization is not to focus on higher and higher technology or greater material wealth; it is to help us live more deeply and grow more fully in the humanizing work of mutual responsibility and respect.
  4. The necessity of challenging anything–or anyone–in society (or in ourselves) that appears to destroy the God-ordained oneness, or which seeks to damage our great capacities for an ever-expanding development of our humanity.
  5. The greatest necessity of all is to seek out and hold firmly to the truths of our oneness, our hope, our mutual responsibility, our capacity to create, our refusal to destroy.  Included here, of course, is a willingness to dies, if necessary, for such truths, but not to injure or kill others.
  6. The constant, disciplined quest for personal and collective communion with the One, the divine and ultimate source of all our unity.

It is amazing, isn’t it, where a bus boycott can take us if we allow ourselves to be gathered into the center of the movement?  In this way we understand anew the power, courage, and creativity of those who were willing to absorb hatred and violence for the sake of a transformed society in which hatred and violence would continuously be diminished through audacious nonviolent struggle.


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