I'm a pacifist.  I can't say exactly when I decided that I didn't like war at all, but I've never enjoyed physical violence and I have a hard time understanding people who do.  I have friends and family who talk about how exciting a movie is when there're a lot of fighting scenes and explosions.  I don't enjoy that at all.  I don't like people fighting, I don't like watching people die, and I don't like seeing things get blown up.  That's just my nature.  I'm not bragging about it, I'm just stating it as it is.  But, this is all fantasy violence, and I certainly see the point people make when they say there's a difference between violence in movies and violence in real life.

I've had many discussions with people about real-life violence and wars.  I used to be republican.  I used to believe what my dad would always say about politics and what the republicans would say.  I used to think that we were noble for fighting "the war on terror" and other similar conflicts that we've been involved in.  But somewhere during the last 7 or 8 years I've abandoned all of those beliefs.  I am a pacifist. Up until today, one of the things that I could never give an adequate response to when debating people of the "we need a strong military to fight wars" mindset is the statement that we need to stand up against evil and beat it down in order to stand for what is right.  That argument never sat right with me, but I didn't have a response.  I couldn't say anything.  I couldn't rebut their argument because it did seem reasonable that we needed to be violent in order to quell violence.  But after watching this talk today (embedded here), I now have a rebuttal.

I think that the things this woman says are absolutely wonderful, and that everyone should listen to this talk.  I was so excited to hear her talk about all of the countries where non-violence has worked and has replaced dictatorships with democracy.  I was excited to hear about the book she mentioned and the fact that it has been translated in 20-something different languages.  This is great news to me.  From what she says, we're on our way to a more refined and less violent race.  I look forward to the time when we can be like the Federation in Star Trek, where violence among ourselves is a thing of the past.  (Certainly, even the "enlightened" people in Star Trek were violent with alien races from time to time, which I don't condone, but I do think that the society portrayed in that series is a step in the right direction.)

After listening to her talk, I am now fully confident that we can survive without responding with violence to all of the violent people in the world.  I mean to study the principles she teaches and put them to use in my own personal life.  I think they are very good things to keep in mind.  I want to understand myself better, as she says to do.  I want to be able to address my fears and use my anger as fuel rather than spreading it everywhere.

Let us be non-violent.  Let us return compassion for hate.  Let us return love for fear.  Let us rise above murder.