The year 2014 is the fiftieth anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. King was puzzled why he was awarded this prestigious prize when the work to combat racial injustice was incomplete. He concluded that it was the movement’s commitment to nonviolence that was being honored. Long before 1964, he had accepted nonviolence not only as a method of social change, but also a way of life. He urged that nonviolence be experimented with at every level of human existence, including in international relations.

Although there have been major social change movements in this country that have used nonviolent methods, little has been done to encourage individuals to adopt nonviolence as a way of life. When acts of violence have become so commonplace as to seem normal, we need to consider teaching nonviolence as a way of curbing the violence that plagues our society: child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, gang activity, sexual assault, bullying and harassment, date rape, gun violence, racial and religious prejudice, homophobia, and road rage, among others. We are a nation on edge, fear-ridden, angry, too willing to settle scores, and seemingly incapable of resolving conflicts. We’ve forgotten how to live together harmoniously.

Read the full article on the The Fellowship of Reconciliation webpage.