Peace Education for Nonviolence and Solution of Terrorism
EDUCATION, 1 Jun 2015
Surya Nath Prasad, Ph. D. – TRANSCEND Media Service
- History of Terrorism and Violence
We find the history of terrorism and violence since the beginning of human civilizations. In every violent act, there is terror, fear and threat as experienced by its victim, similarly in every terror attack there is violence, fear, threat and terror.
Terrorism is the way in which victims become targets of violence. Violence is the condition in which the victims feel fear, threat and terror.
History has long record of violence and terrorism. In the past, violence committed against masses ignited several rebellions in England from 15th Century to 16th Century, American Revolution in 1775, French Revolution in 1817, Russian Revolution in 1917, and several other revolutions in other parts of the world. In retaliation, one king after another was murdered for the liberation of people. Emperor of Germany, the King Italy and the King of Spain were assassinated. In 1979, another King of Spain was assassinated, in 1881, Czar was murdered. In 1883, the Emperor of Germany was assassinated. In 1898, the Empress Elisabeth of Austria was murdered. Louis of France and Charles of England were both axed.
Timisoara Genocide (1989), Genocide in Bangladesh (1971), The My Lai, Massacre (1968), Youth Massacre in China (1989), Genocide in Sri Lanka, one Million P.O.Ws Starved, The Jalliawala Bagh Masssacre (1919), Genocide in Cambodia (1975-1979), The Burundy Genocide (1972), Genocide of Jews in Germany (1938-1945), 60 million massacred by Stalin (1832-33) are the cruel, horrible and painful events of violence.
Assassinations of the great political leaders of the world, viz. Abraham Lincoln, John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Benazir Bhutto, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Yugoslavia King Alexander, De Gaulle, and several others are also the sordid, unpleasant, terrible and sad happenings of violence.
More than 20 million people lost their lives in World War I, and 40 million more were killed in World War II. Since the United Nations was founded in 1945, there have been over a hundred wars, with 20 million people killed. In the 20th century, there was an estimated 110 million deaths.
World Report on Violence and Health (WHO, 2002) tells us that no country or community is untouched by violence. Images and accounts of violence pervade the media; it is on our streets, in our homes, schools, workplaces and institutions. Violence is a universal scourge that tears at the fabric of community that threatens the life, health and happiness of us all. Each year, 1.6 million people world-wide lose their lives to violence. For everyone who dies as a result of violence, many more are injured and suffer from a rage of physical, sexual, reproductive and health problems. Violence is among the leading causes of death for people aged 15-44 years worldwide accounting for about 14% of deaths among male and 7% of deaths among female.
Nelson Mandela writing his Foreword for the World Report on Violence has told us that violence is the pain of children who are abused by people who should protect them, women injured or humiliated by violent partners, elderly persons maltreated by their caregivers, youths who are bullied by other youths and people of all ages who inflict violence on themselves. Violence is inherent in the system of about 139 non-democratic nation-states where a handful of people have the power to declare which persons or groups should die. In 50 to 60 democratic or quasi-democratic countries, the economic and political elite commit violence by manipulating power, money and resources.
Today the whole world is being gripped by terrorism. Most of the nation-states are facing “genocide”, “ethnic cleansing” and ‘global terrorism”. According to Global Terrorism Index (Institute for Economics and Peace, 2014), in total there have been over 48,000 terrorist incidents over the last 14 years claiming over 107,000 lives. Terrorism has increased dramatically with even conservative estimates suggesting a fivefold surge since the year 2000. In 2013 alone, almost 10,000 terrorist incidents were recorded, resulting in approximately 18,000 deaths. The significant majority of these incidents, over 60 per cent, occurred in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria. The increase is due mainly to terrorist activity within these five countries. As a consequence, these countries have experienced a dramatic increase in the loss of life in 2013 with fatalities reaching 14,722 collectively. Excluding these five countries in 2013, there were almost 4,000 attacks in the rest of the world killing 3,236 people. This represents an increase of 54 per cent over the prior year. Other than the five most affected countries, the trend over the last 14 years is upward with terrorist attacks substantially increasing by 180 per cent. Furthermore, terrorists are largely successful in carrying out their tactical objectives.
- Roots of Terrorism and Violence
Regarding roots of violence and terrorism, there are strong five beliefs that human beings have inherited a tendency to make war from their animal ancestors, war and any other violent behavior is genetically programmed into our human nature, in the course of human evolution there has been a selection for aggressive behavior more than of other kinds of behavior, humans have a ‘violent brain’, and war is caused by ‘instinct’ or any single motivation. But, the Seville Statement on Violence (1986) written by an international team of specialists in 1986 and endorsed by scientific and professional organizations which was adopted by UNESCO in 1989 has categorically denied stating that these beliefs are scientifically incorrect.
Nadine Kreiberger (2006) points out socio-economic factors motivate the perpetrators of terrorist acts. In particular for those residing in Western societies, a link is drawn between poverty, prejudice, a sense of alienation and marginalization, deep frustration and the violence mostly younger male Muslims develop. Terrorist attacks would then be a gesture of anger and vengeance towards societies that do not welcome them. Further she says that a lack of clear identity, alienation from traditional customs, personal trauma, isolation in society, a perceived threat from other groups (or the majority) would create in the individual a sense of injustice and anger.
International Association of Educators for World Peace (2006) has identified four roots of terrorism, viz. (a) religious fanaticism, (b) political extremism, (c) governmental abuse and (d) military intervention.
Johan Galtung and Anders Wirak (Peace Education, 1986) considers the threatening of fulfillment of human basic needs is the root cause of violence. They have identified 12 human needs, viz. food (and water), clothing, housing, health, education, social contact, work, liberty, politics, new experience, self realization and meaningful life, and ecology.
- Solutions Suggested and Efforts Made for Terrorism and Violence
“Eye for eye” was suggested by a great man in the past to solve the problem of violence. Commenting upon this advice, another great man said, “An eye for an eye” will make the whole world blind, and advised, “If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer him your other cheek to slap on.” But on the basis of same analogy, the whole world would be checkless or would have disfigured faces. In both the advices, there is violence. In the advice of the first great man, there is violence for violence. In the advice of second great man, still there is violence in which victim of violence has to ask the perpetrator to commit more violence on him instead to plead or to commit for equal violence.
Due to being fade up and pained with the violence and terrorism in the different societies of the world, some highly distinguished thinkers in the past gave their proposals for violence-free ideal societies. Plato’s Ideal States, Leibnitz’s The Best World, Mores’ Utopia, Kant’s Theological Kingdom, Confucius’ Great Cooperation Society, Mencius’ The Kingly Way, Hsunpzu’s The Great World, and many other utopian schemes of other thinkers for establishment of better nonviolent societies are a few examples. But they all failed to make their societies ideal for nonviolence. If their search had been to transform individuals into ideal men and women – what man inherently is – their societies would have been realized.
Confucius of China (in 500 B. C.) advised the human beings to practice justice for solution of violence. He forecasted, “If mankind would be governed justly for but a single century, all violence would disappear from earth.” Christ himself who was victim of state violence translated passive justice into active love, and said to Peter, who drew his sword and try to rescue him, “Put up your sword. For they that take the sword shall perish by the sword.” He believed justice as remedy for violence and as foundation for peace. But justice which is remedy of violence and mother of peace is yet to be born. Hence there is a big question how people would be just or what makes all mankind to be just.
- Peace Education for Nonviolence and Solution of Terrorism
Only education can make human beings just to be nonviolent leading to disappearance of violence. I am not talking about education of the past and the present available for a few privileged people for certain periods of time for preparing them as doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers and other professionals minus man (human), and however, many are being deprived of these educations. Hence exploiting each other they exploit rest many unprivileged people depriving them from their exploitative education, and considering the status quo of the people of different nations, faiths (sects), relations, races, but unable to make them human thus it destroys both to whom it reaches, and also to whom it is denied.
I am talking about the real education that is peace education. Again I am not talking about existing peace education which is based on providing the learners the knowledge about predetermined values, preparing them for favorable attitude towards these values and making them skilled for these values to practice, is no more better than existing formal education being based on indoctrination for teaching, available for a few affluent persons and for certain periods. Though I had been one of the first three signatories on behalf of the IAEWP in 1999 on the document of Hague Appeal for Peace, on which Global Campaign for Peace Education was initiated, I was not aware about the nature and practice of this peace education, except these two terms, which has been recognized everywhere with the endorsement of the United Nations.
(a) Concept of Education
Therefore I have developed the concept of peace education keeping in my view the idea about “Know thyself” as visioned and advised by Vedanta in 700 B. C., Buddha in 500 B. C., Socrates in 400 B. C. and Christ in some centuries later, and Prophet Muhammad in 600 A. D., after continuous study of this new emerging discipline for the last 45 years since 1970 including teaching about three decades in the colleges of education as assistant and associate professor and one semester as visiting professor in the Graduate Institute of Peace Studies, Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea, and founding an international Journal Peace Education in 1975. And I have proposed my peace education, which is based on universally inherent five elements, viz. body, vitality, mind, intellect and spirit in every man and woman everywhere without any discrimination of caste, creed, color, gender, nationality, forms of governments, economic, social, cultural and political status, and any other differences. Hence it should be available for all leaving none. It will not be limited only for class-rooms for certain periods, it is perpetual life-long learning.
This peace education of mine is integral manifestation of these inherent five elements in every man and woman leading them to be nonviolent, and making them free from violence (if they are perpetrators or victims of violence). And I reaffirmed this peace education for nonviolence and solution of violence in my writing on the theme Peace Education: Concept and Meaning included and published in Encyclopedia of Nonviolence (Vishwa Ahimsakosh, 2010).
(b) Method in Peace Education
Method in peace education will be dialogue based on the science of learning (mathetics), not on the science of teaching (pedagogy). I mooted the idea of peace as a learning concept in 1991 in my presidential speech delivered at the 8th World Congress of IAEWP held in Croatia, considering teaching as violence and learning as peace. Because teaching makes a few people in minority the possessors of knowledge and the majority in number dispossessed of it. Learning makes teacher and taught aware, and librates them, including oppressors and oppressed. Learning helps the learners to unfold their treasure of knowledge within. Hence, mathetics, not pedagogy nor andragogy, is needed in peace education to unfolding the treasure of knowledge about all the five elements in every man and woman in the process of becoming human to be just and nonviolent.
(c) Access to peace Education
All men and women without discrimination of any type everywhere must have access to peace education based on their five elements within. I declared in my article: Access to Peace Education published in Encyclopedia of Peace Education (Teachers College, Columbia University, 2008) that this Peace education must be considered as a public good, and being a public good, it should be free of cost to all because it is essential. Free access to peace education will make all people benefit without any discrimination and as such, will benefit the society at all levels. Hence, ‘expenditure’ on this peace education is not actually expenditure, but it will be an ‘investment’ in human resource development. And in the long run, not only the particular society, but all the societies of the world will receive heavy returns for centuries. The cost of ignorance about this peace education for all can be very high for every society. Therefore this peace education is essential for non-exploitative, non-violent and peaceful societies giving birth to sustainable genuine democracy and practice of god governance.
Now I would like to suggest this peace education should be core subject in all exiting educations from nursery to higher and even after it will continue till the end of life of all as managed by themselves who are supposed to be able to do so. The children of out of schools should also have access to this peace education.
- Peace Education against All Privileges
My peace education believes in every individual’s ability who is capable to solve his or own problems. My peace education based on five elements in every man and woman is utterly against all privileges. The idea of privilege is brutal and tyrannical. No man or woman is superior to another. No person is privileged to any one of elements – either physical or vital or mental or intellectual or spiritual – or a few or all. Therefore, this peace education considers all men and women equally endowed with these five elements to be manifested integrally to be nonviolent and able to solve the problems of violence.
- Two-Fold Peace Education
Hence I propounded the concept of two-fold peace education in 1974, (i) Remedial Compensatory Man-making Peace Education for Present Crippled People, and (ii) Preparatory Man-making Peace Education for Future Generation.
(i) Remedial Compensatory Peace Education:
Remedial compensatory peace education will be for today’s crippled generation. We all are crippled in this world. Some are crippled physically, some vitally, some mentally, some intellectually, some spiritually, and many are crippled in all parts of their whole body. In this sense, haves and have-nots both everywhere, though having enough resources and lack of resources respectively, but due to ignorance
about themselves, are suffering from physical, vital, mental, intellectual and spiritual ailments. Lala Hardayal, one of the founders of Ghadar Party and author of a popular book: Hints for Self Culture, rightly said, “Half of the ills of Mankind are due to Ignorance; the other arise from Egotism.” But we may say that all types of ills are due to ignorance because the very reason of egotism is also ignorance – ignorance about ourselves.
Though being handicapped due to ignorance about ourselves, we all are exploiting each other’s weaknesses by committing violence on others or on our own selves through ending our lives by doing suicide or being mentally sick or mad. And we see everywhere, some are mad after money, some after name, some after fame, some after physical beauty, some after fasting, some after killing others, some after killing themselves, and we find a long list of madness. Thus the world has become more or less a lunatic asylum.
Commenting on incidences of violence I told on All India Radio at Varanasi on 22 November 1977 in my talk on ‘As Our Elders, So our Younger’ I said, “If sons and daughters misbehave with their parents, students are indiscipline towards their teachers, youth laugh at preachers, and agitate against political leaders, we must have doubts on the faulty characters of these elders rather than youngsters.”
Hence parents, teachers, religious preachers and political leaders including members of ruling class, bureaucrats and all the people among the masses need remedial compensatory peace education to recover their integral health in all of their five elements to be just and nonviolent, and to be able to enable the coming generation in their realization of integral manifestation of their five elements leading them to be just and nonviolent.
(ii) Preparatory Man-making Peace Education
Preparatory man-making peace education will be for coming generations, who are supposed their five elements are uncorrupt, un-crippled, raw, pure and very prone to be unfolded integrally to be just and nonviolent. However, each element in man and woman has particular needs and foods to be unfolded. Physical unfoldment makes them physically strong, vital unfoldment makes them vitally sound, mental unfoldment makes them mentally stable, intellectual unfoldment makes them intellectually sharp, spiritual unfoldment makes them spiritually awakened, and integral unfoldment of all the five elements makes them just, tolerant, nonaggressive and nonviolent.
But if a person fails to manifest his bodily self, he is bound to be physically weak and there would be no chance for him to survive, and if the number of such persons is more, the human progeny may be doubted for the people lack of bodily manifestation would be physically weak. Lack of vital unfoldment, man would suffer with the problems of gas, acidity and cough which affect his or her other parts of his or her physical body including his or her other elements also. Mental non-unfoldment makes man unstable. Man becomes dull due to lack of intellectual unfoldment. Failure to spiritual manifestation leads man and woman to spiritually non-awakened who becomes victim of blind faith. If a man or woman fails to manifest all his or her five sheaths integrally, he or she becomes victim of violence of oppression and exploitation which lead him or her to the state of peacelessness.
Partially unfolded sheaths in man and woman lead him and her to physical ailments, vital disorders, mental conceitedness, intellectual arrogance, spiritual rigidity, conservatism, dogmatism and orthodoxy. And finally partially unfolded sheaths makes man and woman agitated, aggressive, oppressors and exploiters and above all violent, and they are very tyrannical for themselves and others.
- Societal Benefits of this Peace Education
This Peace education, in short term, will reduce the cost of managing other problematic and costly affairs like defense, the judicial system, intelligence and police departments, jails, other retributive measures, hospitals, orphanages and other such institutions. No doubt, in long term, the continuing integral peace education for all will close prisons, courts, departments of police, military and different types of remedial institutions and unjust laws will disappear.
- Enough Financial Resources Available for Peace Education
The world has enough resources to meet the basic needs and requirements of five elements of 15 billion men and women while the world’s population is about 7 billion. These resources must be distributed and used properly in the planning and execution of this peace education based on five elements of all peoples of all nation-states. The World Bank, wealthy nations, wealthy individuals, private educational charitable trusts and distance peace education courses may share the burden of governments’ inability in financing this peace education in order to make it free to all.
- An Appeal to the United Nations to Replace Existing Peace Education with the Peace Education based on Five Elements in Men and Women
The United Nations endorsed and recognized current peace education, which is based on teaching for predetermined values through knowledge, attitude and skill, which, however, all have no access to it as its policy to be adopted by all its member States to establish in their respective educational institutions.
Therefore I appeal to the United Nations to amend and replace the concept of existing peace education, which is based on inculcation of predetermined values, its methodology as teaching and its access to a few affluent for certain period of certification or diploma or degree with the concept of peace education based on universally inherent five elements, viz. body, vitality, mind, intellect and spirit in all men in women everywhere without any discrimination, its methodology as learning and its access to all till the end of their lives for integral manifestation of these elements through creation of their own values leading to sustainable mutual peace and elimination of all types of violence.
- A Call to the United Nations for its Initiation to Organize Global Meet of Heads of Nation-States and Leaders of Violent Groups for Dialogue to End Terrorism and Violence
We all have potentialities to be divine or devil or slave, it depends on our awareness and practice or non-awareness and non-practice of these potential elements within all of us. But situation is that we all are terrorists and violent, it is a matter of degree, and nature of manifest and latent violence in each one of us, because we all are deprived of the manifestation of these elements, and when the situation arises, our violence comes out without any consideration of our own relations, kin, clan, nationality, religion, status, gender, and among them, most victims of our violence are women, children, old and sick.
However, if the social, religious, political, governmental and non-governmental leaders, rulers and bureaucrats, and several experts and specialists in the United Nations think and realize that they can solve the problem of violence and terrorism, they being elders and guardians must treat the terrorists and perpetrators as part and parcel of the society, and they deserve to be heard and listened. Here I would like to refer to the elders of the society some true events of the past how terrorists of their times had become non-terrorist and nonviolent, and to enlighten them to solve the burning problems of violence created by the terrorists of Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, Boko Haram in Nigeria, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and al-Qaeda and its offspring in other parts of the world (like al-Shebab in north-east Africa), and Naxalites and Maoists in India.:
How Did a Murderer Become Saint Valmiki?
Saint Valmiki in ancient India was a murderer but mere an event of killing of one of pair birds at the hands of the hunter changed his life of killer and he became a distinguished saint and recognized as a pioneer poet (first poet) and author of a popular book: Ramayana (500 B. C. to 160 B . C.).
There is another story also in the life of robber Ratnakar (Valmiki):
“In his early life, he was highway robber, who used to rob people after killing them. Once, the robber tried to rob the divine sage Narada for the benefit of his family. Narada asked him if his family would share the sin he was incurring due to the robbery. The robber replied positively, but Narada told him to confirm this with his family. The robber asked his family, but none agreed to bear the burden of sin. Dejected, the robber finally understood the truth of life and asked for
Narada’s forgiveness. Narada taught the robber the mantra for salvation. But, the mantra in question, the name of Lord Rama, was not to be given to murderers and the like. Narada thus told Valmiki to chant “Mara” the phonetic anagram of “Rama” instead to circumvent this restriction. The robber meditated for many years, so much so that ant-hills grew around his body. Finally, a divine voice declared his penance successful, bestowing him with the name “Valmiki”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valmiki “valmiki”: “one born out of ant-hills”- (Valmikam in Sanskrit means Ant-hill). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valmik)
How Did a Criminal Angulimala Become An Arhat (Buddhist)?
Life of the cruel criminal murderer Angulimala was changed by Lord Buddha (500 B. C.). The story of Angulimala is:
“The Buddhist scriptures relate that one day, after his meal, the Buddha went out from the monastery where he was staying and walked towards a great forest. Seeing him going in that direction various people working in their fields called out to him to warn him that in that forest dwelt the dreaded Angulimala.
Little is known for certain about Angulimala but the usual account of his life has him the son of a well-to-do family and at one time a brilliant student at the University of Taxila, then the Oxbridge of India.
At Taxila, other students were jealous of him and succeeded in poisoning their teacher’s mind against him, with the result that the teacher asked of him what he must have believed would be an impossible honorarium, a thousand human right-hand little fingers. Unbelievably, instead of giving up and quietly going home without graduating, the young man set out to collect the fingers and pay the fee. Presumably, he quickly discovered that people were reluctant to willingly give up their little fingers and so he was forced to resort to violence and killing in order to obtain them.
Then he found he had nowhere to store these fingers. He tried hanging them on a tree but the birds stole them so his solution was to string them around his neck. For this gruesome and growing garland of bloody fingers he was nicknamed Angulimala which means ‘finger garland’ or ‘finger necklace’.
This was the man who, peering out from his lair, spotted the Buddha coming towards him and who that day had round his neck nine hundred and ninety-nine little fingers. This powerful and athletic serial killer, who had already successfully resisted several attempts to apprehend him, grabbed his weapons and dashed out to murder the Buddha and complete his score.
He expected to easily overtake him and quickly finish the job but then a very strange thing happened – even though the Buddha was only walking, serene and unhurried, Angulimala,
despite his formidable strength and speed, found he couldn’t catch up with him. Eventually, exhausted, angry, frustrated and soaked with sweat, Angulimala screamed at the Buddha to stop.
Then the Buddha turned and with neither anger nor fear, speaking quietly and directly, he told Angulimala that he, the Buddha, had already stopped. He had stopped killing and harming and now it was time for him, Angulimala, to do likewise. Angulimala was so struck by these words that there and then he stopped; he threw away his weapons and followed the Buddha back to the monastery where he became a monk.
Later, the King, ignorant of what had happened, came by leading his troops out to arrest Angulimala. Being a very pious monarch, he called to pay his respects to the Buddha and to inform him of what he was up to. The Buddha asked the King what his reaction would be were he to discover that amongst this assembly of monks sat Angulimala.
To the King it was utterly unbelievable that such a foul and evil person could now be a Buddhist monk and seated amongst such exalted company, but were it the case, he answered, he would certainly pay his respects and make offerings. Then the Buddha stretched forth his right hand and, pointing, announced that there sat Angulimala.
When he’d mastered his fear and recovered from the shock, the King, having paid his respects, said to the Buddha how incredible it was that, “What we have tried to do by force and with weapons you have done with neither force nor weapons!” In the course of time, after a period of some trial to himself, Angulimala did eventually succeed in purging his mind of all greed, hatred and delusion and realized for himself the Buddhist goal of Enlightenment.
The story of Angulimala teaches us that the possibility of Enlightenment may be awakened in the most extreme of circumstances, that people can and do change and that people are best influenced by persuasion and above all, example.” http://angulimala.org.uk/the-story-of-angulimala/
Why Did Killer King Ashoka Become a Buddhist Peace Propagator?
There is a story of “Ashoka the Great”. He was one of the greatest emperors of India who ruled India from 269 BCE to 232 BCE. He was troublesome, cruel and very short tempered person who killed his 99 brothers leaving only one brother Tissa to become the king. In 265 BCE, Ashoka attacked Kalinga. In the battle, about 100,000 civilians were killed, as well as 10,000 of Ashoka’s soldiers. The war of Kalinga (BC 261) was the turning point in the life of Ashoka. The mass death, the ruined houses and bloodied corpses in the war changed the mind of Ashoka and sickened him and he underwent a religious epiphany, and he became a follower of Buddhism.
Ashoka made Buddhism his state religion. Later he was appointed as ‘Dharma Mahapatro’ to propagate Buddhism all over Asia. He sent his son Mahindra and daughter Sanghamitra to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) for spreading Buddhism and peace. He built lion stambhs to spread Buddhism, these stambhs are now called Ashok Stambh. Ashok Stambh of Sarnath was adopted as national emblem of India. Besides Ashok Stambh, Ashoka had built many constructions-Dhamek Stupa ( Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh), Bharhut Stupa (Madhya Pradesh), Mahabodhi Temple (Bihar).(http://asianhistory.about.com/od/india/a/ashoka.htm; http://www.factsninfo.com/2013/04/interesting-facts-information-samrat-ashoka-great-emperors-of-india.html)
How Did Prophet Muhammad Bring Change in the Garbage Thrower Lady?
There is a story in the life of Prophet Muhammad (570-622 C. E.) how he brought change in the heart and behavior of The Garbage Thrower Lady through his kind, sympathetic, affectionate and tolerant behavior.
“She (the lady) thought till late at midnight and finally decided how to take revenge from him. She could not sleep all night, because she was too eager to take revenge for the idols she worshiped. Even before the first ray of sunlight had entered her window, she was busy sweeping her house. She saved all the garbage in a basket, placed it on the roof of her house and proudly looked at it for a while, then with an impatient look on her face, she looked at the street that she lived on, and thought, “No one has ever seen him angry. Everybody will praise me when they will see him shouting at me and getting mad. They will laugh at him and make fun of him.” She looked at the basket again and grinned.
Meanwhile, she heard footsteps, announcing the approach of the end of her waiting. “Finally my prey has arrived,” she thought, as she saw a man dressed in clean, white clothes coming that way. She picked up the basket in her hands and threw all the garbage on him when he passed by. Much to the woman’s disappointment, he did not say anything and continued on his way.
She did the same the following day thinking, “Maybe this time I will be able to annoy him.” But he was too gentle to shout at a woman. She misinterpreted his attitude as fear and decided to repeat the same mischief everyday in order to keep him frightened, so that he might stop preaching the Oneness of God.
This gentleman whom the woman hated so much was Muhammad (pbuh), the last prophet of Allah Almighty. He did not want to disappoint the woman and so continued to walk down the street everyday instead of picking an alternate route, and prayed for the woman to recognize the Truth.
One day, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not find the woman to be on the roof of her house with the basket. This worried him, because he thought something must have happened to her for not being over there. So he knocked at the door. “Who is it?” asked a feeble voice. “Muhammad bin Abdullah,” was the reply, “can I come in?” The woman feared, “I am sick, and too weak to fight or talk back, therefore Muhammad has come to take revenge for what I have been doing to him.” But the permission to enter her house was in such a gentle voice that she allowed him in.
Muhammad (pbuh) entered the house and told the woman that not finding her on the roof had worried him and he thus wanted to inquire about her health. On finding out how ill she was, he gently asked if she needed any help. Hypnotized by the affectionate tone in the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) blessed voice, she forgot all fear and asked for some water. He kindly gave her some in a utensil and prayed for her health, while she quenched her thirst. This made her feel very guilty for being so cruel to him in the past and she apologized for her mean behavior. He forgave her and came to her house everyday to clean it, to feed her and to pray for her, till she was on her feet again. The kind attitude of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) inspired her into the recognition of the Truth, and his prayers were answered in the form of yet another addition into the growing number of Muslims”. sktop/What are some life changing short stories from Prophet Muhammad’s life – Quora.htm
Why Did Merchant of Death Alfred Nobel Change His Will?
Now we shall see how the story of ‘merchant of death’ Alfred Nobel published in a French newspaper by mistake the death of his brother Ludvig for his, headlining his obituary “The merchant of death is dead” changed the conviction, belief , will and life of Alfred Nobel, who was inventor of dangerous explosives (1862-18650) and murderous dynamite (1867).
Dr Alfred Nobel, who made his fortune by finding a way to kill the most people as ever before in the shortest time possible, died yesterday,” the newspaper wrote. “Alfred was horrified when he read this and later became obsessed by his posthumous reputation,” London explained.
“He subsequently changed his will, bequeathing most of his fortune to the establishment of a series of prizes, so that no future obituary writer would have any doubt as to his yearning for peace and progress,” he added.
Eight years after his devastating obituary, Nobel died and his famous will was unveiled, laying the foundation for what today are considered some of the world’s most prestigious prizes in the fields of literature, medicine, physics, chemistry, economics and peace. http://www.swedishwire.com/science/6521-story-of-the-merchant-of-death-alfred-nobel
How Did President Ramon Magsaysay Solve the Problems of Terrorism?
How the reform works of then President of Philippines Ramon Magsaysay (1953-1957), who was himself ex-guerilla and fought against Japanese occupation, solved the problems of “terrorism” of the Huks, a guerrilla rebel group who surrendered their arms during his governance. Philippine Senator Salonga said, “A land reform program that resettled and gave land to the Huks, turning them from fighters to farmers”. Anthony James Joes (1992) has written in his book: Modern Guerrilla Insurgency:
“Magsaysay’s solution to this problem was to open up virgin lands on southern islands to provide a homestead to any surrendered guerrillas who desired one. The former Huk would normally receive 20 acres; he also got help from the army to build a little house, a small loan to tide him over until the first crop, and may be a work animal or two. Those who accepted this amnesty-with-a-farm changed over-night from threats to the constitutional order into productive and eventually tax-paying citizens.” file:///C:/Users/suryanathprasad/Desktop/Modern%20Guerrilla%20Insurgency%20-%20Anthony%20James%20Joes%20-%20Google%20Books.htm
The Ramon Magsaysay Award was instituted in 1957 when the Philippines lost its President Magsaysay in a plane crash to honor him for his simplicity and humility, his passion for justice, particularly for the poor, and the advancement of human dignity with the initiation of Rockefeller Brothers who were his friends and admirers among others.
Today, the Ramon Magsaysay Award program is managed by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation board of trustees composed of nine Filipinos serving staggered four-year terms.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award was conceived to honor “greatness of spirit shown in service to the people.” The award is given in six categories annually, viz. Government Service, Public Service, Community Leadership, Journalism, Peace and International Understanding, and Emergent Leadership.
How Did the Dacoits of Chambal Valley Surrendered Their Arms Before Acharya Vinoba Bhave and Shri Jayaprakash Narayan?
India’s Chambal Valley has been a homeland to the feared dacoits —professional bandits for whom murder and robbery were a tradition as well as a way of life. Police methods had failed to control the dacoits, but a follower of Mahatma Gandhi – Acharya Vinoba Bhave – persuaded some of the bandits to give themselves up. In May 1960, twenty dacoits surrendered their arms before him. The dacoits were prepared to face the law courts and jail sentences courageously. The specially constituted Chambal Valley Peace Committee helped them in their efforts. After their release, they were given Bhoodan lands to lead a simple and peaceful life.
12 years later on 14 and 16 April 1972, a large group of dacoits formally surrendered in batches before Shri Jayaprakash Narayan at the Mahatma Gandhi Seva Ashram in Joura. A wave of relief seemed to sweep the Valley of Terror. American newsman TIME Correspondent William Stewart, who witnessed the scene of surrender and talked with the bandits, reported that at the end of the day of surrender, 167 dacoits were in jail. Jayprakash Narayan said “They are all like children.” http://mynameisideal.blogspot.in/2008/10/chambal-valley-details.html
The stories which I have just told about the drastic change in the lives of most murderer criminals during their respective times to be saints and or dutiful civilians through the efforts of great civil, social, political men and or spiritual saints, and pathetic sorrowful events must be kept in their minds by the heads of nation-states and other spiritual and social heads including the expert members of the United Nations to include the names of the leaders of terrorist and violent groups with their open heart in the prospective Global Meet for dialogue to solve the problems of terrorism and violence. Certainly, the United Nations should take the responsibility to coordinate and arrange this global meet on the very pertinent problem of the era – the solution of terrorism and violence through peace education based on five elements in human beings.
Dr. Surya Nath Prasad is M. A. (Sociology), M. Ed. (Experimental Education), M. Phil. (Nonviolence and Peace Studies), and Ph. D. (Education). He is a recipient of Honorary D. Lit. (Peace Education) at the hands of Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma then Former President, Government of India and has taught for three decades as Assistant and Associate Professor of Education in India. He is Former Visiting Professor of Peace Studies at the Graduate Institute of Peace Studies in Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea and former President and Currently Executive Vice President of International Association of Educators for World Peace. Dr. Prasad is recipient of several peace and human rights awards to the cause of peace and peace education. Website of his Journal is: http://www.sites.google.com/site/peaceeducationsnp/ One may reach him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 1 Jun 2015.
Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Peace Education for Nonviolence and Solution of Terrorism, is included. Thank you.
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.