Advanced essay #4, Noah Weinberger.

     In this essay, I address my personal view on violence and nonviolence and how we should strive to be non violent through our hardships with our enemies. My goal is for the reader to understand my point of view and get a general idea of why I believe they should support nonviolence. I hope that I can do a good job of convincing the reader why violence is not always the answer for conflicts with other people, and that there's a nicer, happier, and safer solution to said conflicts. In addition, I hope this essay is informative to give people an insight on how violence and nonviolence works. I hope you enjoy this essay, cheers.

There is a black handgun. The gun has been bent and twisted into a knot so it is not possible to shoot anyone with it. At the bottom is a message that promotes non violence. The letters are big and bold so they can stand out to the viewer. This image encourages people to take action in nonviolence and nonviolent activities.

In our society today, we come across many challenges that can cause people to become aggressive. We encounter many people who usually have the same idea as we do, and that is to excel in life and accomplish the many things they see fit. But not all of these plans are remotely friendly to our own plans. Some of these ideas are backed by huge amounts of power or energy that comes from a corporation or organization. However, despite this, the danger is truly present when an individual idea or multiple ideas are backed by a Nation when other Nations don’t see fit. The danger derives from violence, which can cause many horrible actions to be taken by the people who are encouraged to use it as a solution to their problems and disagreements. These actions can fall along the lines of heated arguments with a failure of two or more individuals and/or nations seeing eye to eye which leads to fighting breaking out between them, and even killing when it goes far enough. Violence is the solution nobody should aim towards, or at least, the solution everyone should turn to lastly when nothing else is working. Despite this, our country turns to violence and warfare as a solution in most situations. In fact, most of the United State’s past and present accomplishments were through warfare, such as the Revolutionary war, the Civil war, the Mexican war, the Spanish American war and many more.

Now that you have a general insight into Violence, you may be asking; “What’s so wrong with violence? When other countries come to fight, we fight back and win. In addition, violence has solved our problems countless times.” Well while this is all true in it’s own respect, we can solve our problems in a more pacifist manner that will allow us to build on our social ability to conversate with others by seeking a non violent route in a conflict that won’t cost the lives of possibly hundreds of people. While there are people truly evil at heart, most people who back a general idea that was spread, usually feel as if they were doing the right thing. People pick sides but not because they want to be “bad.” In fact, it’s most likely that the opposing side that one fights against might feel that they are good in their own sense. To back this up further,  Martin Luther King Jr. shares his thoughts by saying; “The nonviolent resister is just as opposed to the evil that he is standing against as the violent resister but he resists without violence.” Despite all this, we are never informed or even think about the other side most of the time when conflicts arise, and therefore, we are led to believe by other individuals, our world leaders, and our own assumptions that we are the “good” and that the opposing side are the “bad.” You can even pull the world wars into this line of view about who is really the enemy. One man, Adolf Hitler, somehow appealed to the majority of Germany’s population, and the Nazis who backed him most likely believed he was right. The people who supported the morally corrupt ideas of this truly wicked man at heart, were convinced that what he said was true. They didn’t view themselves as “evil”, they thought that his line of thought was “right” and by supporting him, they thought that what they were doing was “good” even though it wasn’t.

Since we now know about Non-Violence, you may be wondering; “So What causes violence to be the first solution? Well, we need to take a look into the origin of where all violence derives from. To do this, we would have to know what causes violent actions to take place. If we were to observe, we would know that violence comes from two key features, fear and anger. In Scilla Elworthy’s TED talk, she explains the following: “Anger is like gasoline. When you have too much, it spreads around, and when somebody lights a match, you got an inferno.” She further states; “My fear grows fat on the energy I feed it.” From this, we break the text down and analyze it. The text’s meaning is telling of how violence derives from anger and fear. When you let your anger take control of you, then you will be at loss for control over the actions you take from that point on until all the anger recedes. In today’s society, how many times have we let anger control us? Lots of times, we let anger do the talking when we get angry at another individual. Sometimes, in similar situations, anger can lead us to get upset over something stupid. Anger can even lead us to do dangerous things, such as driving when angry, to even attacking others. When one is too angry to control themselves, they can end up seriously injuring and/or kill themselves in the event that they were careless in the action they were taking part in. However, when it comes to the entire nation, anger can result in a violent war against the other nation that started the anger to rise in particular. In addition to this, fear also plays a big role in violence as well. When we fear of something, it’s usually for the reason of something horrible we are believing to encounter. We are genuinely afraid of many things, such as our house, our money, our Job, our life, and that’s okay. It’s okay to be afraid, but we must not dwell on it or we will never overcome it. Just like anger, too much fear can harm you and the others around you. Once you become too afraid by constantly feeding your fear with the horrors of your mind, fear will engulf you and take complete control of your life until the day comes where you will face that fear. The day you face that fear will have a different outcome determined from how much your fear grew. And it’s because of fear that one may make hasty decisions and choose to try and hide from the responsibilities in life that lead up to this fear. A life constantly lived in fear from an undetermined outcome is one most likely wasted. Why wasted you may ask, because on your deathbed, you will most likely regret the fear you didn’t face. This rule of thumb for fear can be applied to great nations as well, which can result in many wars as an outcome. When one nation becomes afraid of another, they may try to stay on the one nation’s “good side” by constantly supporting them. Some nations will not fight back against an invading nation if they know the odds are against them and either surrender early or let the invasion go on. Some nations who own a strong military but weak economy fear for failure of the nation opposed to the other nation who may have a weak military but a strong economy (Such as North and South Korea, where North Korea has a small economy compared to south Korea. This leads to North Korea attacking South Korea to try and take their economy). This fear could lead to invasions to overtake the other nation to prevent a possible failure in the economy.

Non violence would offer a solution to all of these conflicts, however. If we could all remain nonviolent and seek friendship through the enemy, we could possibly go to greater lengths as nations. Martin Luther King said himself that “the nonviolent resister does not seek to humiliate or defeat the opponent but to win his friendship and understanding.” If we befriended all of our allies and foes, then we would have minimal conflict and more focus directed towards helping each other excel in life with what we have already accomplished so far. After all, who deserves to die over a simple disagreement?

King, Martin Luther, Jr. "The Power of Nonviolence.", 4 June 1957. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Elworthy, Scilla. "Fighting with Nonviolence." Scilla Elworthy:., Apr. 2012. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.