February 09NextPrevious   

“Awakened Public Opinion”–Daily Metta

“An awakened and intelligent public opinion is the most potent weapon of a Satyagrahi.”

-–Gandhi (Young India, 8-8-1929)

Gandhi felt that it was necessary in a nonviolent action to get the public to pay attention to what one is doing. His faith in human nature was such that when they observed the dynamic of right against might, he felt, the public would be compelled to identify with the side that speaks to the highest image of who we are.  Once you have their attention and you offer a dramatic example of nonviolence, rousing the public’s opinion for your cause becomes easier, until a tipping point occurs and the falsehood of what was seen as acceptable before becomes inescapable.  At that point, if someone still wants to engage in the negative behavior against which you have campaigned, they are clearly communicating that they are against the good of the community. It now becomes the duty of everyone to non-cooperate with that person or party until they desist from their actions.

Experiment in Non-violence

Reflect on a cause toward which you feel strongly. Consider the actions taken to inform and awaken public opinion about this topic. Analyze successful as well as unsuccessful attempts–what worked and what might you have done differently?



The Metta Center for Nonviolence, PO Box 98, Petaluma, California 94953 707-774-6299 info@mettacenter.org