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Respect: Daily Metta

Michael Nagler Posted by Michael Nagler.

Michael is founder and president of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and the author of Our Spiritual Crisis and The Search for a Nonviolent Future, which received a 2002 American Book Award and has been translated into several languages.

Respect: Daily Metta

“Man does not live by bread alone. Many prefer self-respect to food.” ~ Gandhi, Young India, February 5, 1925

Which is why some will go so far as to fast from food, if necessary “unto death,” to restore their dignity—or that of their religion or their people. We forget, in some of the shouting matches that pass for “non-violent” protest today, that: you can never persuade another to accept humiliation for very long (if at all); it is entirely unnecessary to do so, because what we really need from a person can be gotten without disrespecting them; and finally, that their self-respect and dignity is intimately a part of our own. “It is a terrible, and inexorable law,” James Baldwin said, “that one cannot take away another’s respect without diminishing one’s own.”

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About Daily Metta

Stephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence.

Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide.

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