Six Principles and Steps of Nonviolence

Six Principles

  1. Nonviolence is a way of life for
    courageous people: It is not a method for
    cowards; it does resist. If one uses this method
    because one is afraid or merely lacks the
    instruments of violence, that person is not truly

  2. The Beloved Community is the goal: The
    aftermath of Nonviolence is friendship and
    understanding among those who are different from
    you, while the aftermath of violence is tragic

  3. Defeat injustice, not people: It is evil that
    the non violent resister seeks to defeat, not the
    person messenger of evil

  4. Exchange suffering for Achievement: The
    nonviolent resister realizes suffering can educate
    and transform people and societies.

  5. Chose loving solutions, not hateful ones:
    Avoid internal violence of the spirit as well as
    external physical violence. The nonviolent resister
    not only refuses to shoot the opponent but also,
    refuses to hate them.

  6. The universe is on the side of justice: The
    believer in nonviolence has deep faith in the future,
    and believes there is a creative force in this universe
    that‘s works to bring the disconnected aspects of
    reality into a harmonious whole.

Six  Steps

  1. Gather information: Learn all you can about the
    problems you see in your community through the media,
    social, and civic network.

  2. Educate Others: Armed with new knowledge; its your
    duty to help those around you, such as your neighbors,
    relatives, friends and co-workers, better understand the
    problems facing society. Build a team of people devoted
    to finding solutions. Be sure to include those who will be
    directly affected by your work.

  3. Remain Committed: Accept that you will face many
    obstacles and challenges as you and your team work to
    change society. Agree to encourage and inspire one
    another along the journey.

  4. Peacefully Negotiate: Talk with both sides. Yes go to
    the people in your community who are in trouble and
    deeply hurt by society ills. Yet also go to those people
    who are contributing to the break down of a peaceful
    society. Use humor, intelligence and grace to lead to
    solutions that benefit the greater good.

  5. Take Action Peacefully: This step is often used when
    negotiation fails to reduce results, or when people need
    to draw broader attention to a problem. It can include
    tactics such as peaceful demonstrations, letter writing
    and petition campaign.

  6. Reconcile: Keep all actions and negotiations peaceful
    and constructive. Agree to disagree with some people
    and with some groups as you work to improve society.
    Show all involved, the benefits of changing, not what
    they will give up by changing.

(For additional material on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Principles of Non-violence, read "Pilgrimage to Nonviolence" in Dr. King's Stride Toward Freedom, Harper & Row. 1958)