Nonviolence by the numbers

By PHILIP EIL  |  May 7, 2014

A lot of our systems are really starved for resources. We don’t do enough rehabilitation in jail; it is the biggest mental institution. The percentages are huge of people in jail with mental health issues. We’re not treating them enough. We don’t do enough skill training in jail. We have people who are uneducated; they cannot survive in a technology society.

I worked. . . for the last 25 years in Boston with people [who], for society, are killers, criminals. Very few are pathological. The majority have a conscience. You take them off a rail of violence, the track they know, and you put them on a track with plenty of support. . . we can build a healthier society. The push that really should [also] happen is that we have nonviolence taught in every school.

I think this problem of violence is so easily solvable.

6 (as in the “Steps of Nonviolence to Solve Any Problem” by Martin Luther King, Jr. printed on the back of Gross’s business card).

1) Gather information.

2) Share the information with all who care about the problem.

3) Strengthen your own commitment.

4) Negotiate with dignity for all.

5) If negotiations fail, take appropriate direct action, then negotiate again.

6) Always reconcile. Celebrate reconciliation!

The Institute for the Study & Practice of Nonviolence’s “Invest in Peace” will take place Friday, May 9 at 6:00 pm at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center (1000 Elmwood Ave) in Providence. For tickets and more info, go to nonviolenceinstitute.org.
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