"When a person claims to be nonviolent, he is expected not to be angry with one who has injured him," Gandhi wrote. "He will not wish him harm. He will wish him well. He will not swear at him. He will not cause him any physical hurt. He will put up with all the injury to which he is subjected by the wrongdoer. Thus nonviolence is complete innocence."
That was Gandhi's editorial message on Sept. 3, 1922, in his newspaper, Young India. He was trying to inspire his nation to reach the highest ideal of peace, love and nonviolence as they resisted British imperialism.
Who could possibly be that nonviolent? Most of us get angry and vengeful at the slightest put-down. I know I do. If I'm disrespected or attacked for one reason or another -- and that happens frequently to anyone who speaks against war -- I feel hurt, then get angry, then want to retaliate with a verbal attack or worse. If I repress those feelings, I end up with a pool of resentment that eventually needs to be addressed or it will lead to even greater judgmentalism, self-righteousness or explosive violence.