Miki Kashtan writes more deeply about the human experience than just about anyone I know. When reading her blog, I have the sense that she has confronted a difficult issue, taken it into her deepest self (an act of courage if there ever was one), and written down the wisdom that emerges in that interface between her heart and the problem.
This week Miki, who is a renowned trainer and practitioner of Nonviolent Communication, has turned her attention to the unfolding story in Ferguson, Missouriâ€”and thereby to deeper issues of race and policing. I cannot do better than to refer you to her article, â€œResponding to Violence with Love for All.â€ An excerpt to whet your appetite:
There are times, and this is one of them, where my ongoing choice to stay away from public events and electoral politics no longer stands up to my inner sense of moral integrity. This is a time where I am just too clear that itâ€™s only my privilege that makes it even an option to choose. No, I donâ€™t think that privilege is â€œbad,â€ nor do I aim to make it go away, nor believe itâ€™s possible or even always desirable to do so. Rather, I want to consider my privilege as a resource, and to keep asking myself day in and day out how I mobilize my privilege and use it for the benefit of allâ€¦.
This is the first and deepest commitment of any act of nonviolent resistance: I am willing to endure suffering; I will not dish out suffering to anyone else. As people like Gandhi and Martin Luther King knew, and others like them, known and unknown, our willingness to endure suffering is one of the very ways we can reach the hearts of those who are at present committed to cruelty. Nonviolence implies a willingness to trust that everyone is redeemable, even if we donâ€™t know how to do it. When we expose our own vulnerability, we invite theirs.