Violence Solves Nothing

Anders Behring BreivikAs Norway strives to come to terms with the atrocities of the weekend, we should be very careful not to get into a ‘holier than though’ state of mind. Whilst the actions of Anders Behring Breivik are shocking and difficult to understand, we should remember that we have all been implicated in violent acts of one form or another.

Violence is wrong, no matter what name it is given. Be it liberation, peace keeping, stabilisation, whatever, it never solves the problem. It may change the situation, but it is never the solution.

Buddhism stresses the interconnectedness of all life. It is only the limited capacity of our senses that causes us to place so much stress on the separation and differences between ‘them’ and ‘us’.

Because of this interconnectedness, by using violence, we not only injure or destroy the other person, but also ourselves. Those who use violence and devalue others’ lives actually devalue and bespoil their own lives too.

Violence solves nothing, wisdom, courage and compassion are the only tools we can use to solve everything.

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