Few people speak about Nelson Mandela and the ANC’s armed war against the apartheid regime. Some would call it terrorism, but then again all war is terrorism and so is oppression. Mandela was a prominent leader of the militant wing of the ANC, known as Umkhonto we Size or MK. MK was established approximately a year after the government had violently crushed a peaceful protest against its regime, among other incidences. During the nineteen sixties and seventies MK would habitually bomb public areas, particularly those that were designated for Whites only.
The ANC only started to gain traction in their quest for liberation after Mandela, still as a prominent (and incarcerated) leader resumed advocating and practicing non aggression principles.
To date the non aggression principle is the most effective, paradoxical approach towards responding to aggression. If you are looking for some proof in the pudding, just look up Ghandi, and Martin Luther King.
Taking a non aggressive approach prevents you from being stuck in your reptilian brain during aggressive and stressful encounters. It also allows direct access to the critical thinking region of your brain, your prefrontal cortex, which affords you insights into dignified alternatives to end the conflict.
I understand that some people would read this post and dismiss it as rubbish, or perhaps a promotion of weakness, but nothing could be farther from the truth as well as contradictory. It takes courage to seek and exercise peace, this is because all impulsive and reactionary behavior is motivated by fear, with little regard for consequences.
The fight or flight analogy needs to be improved, because whether you are fighting or fleeing, you are reacting to fear. To react to fear is the equivalent of fleeing (from pain and suffering) and when you are running from something, you are certainly not giving a lot of thought to where you are headed.
Sure, if you were to lose your temper in the heat of the moment it is easy to convince yourself about your lack of care for potential consequences, that is, until the the time comes for you to face the consequences of your actions.
Violence begets violence, and regardless of how you may view yourself, all human beings are equal, primarily because we are equally vulnerable and we live at the mercies of each other.
I was putting together some information about workplace bullying and effective strategies for how to respond to bullying in the workplace. Right now it’s looking like it’s going to be a two part post. Regardless, the post will be up Monday morning, Arizona time.
If it turns out to be a two part post, the second post will discuss effective cognitive behavioral strategies for dealing with and putting an end to workplace bullying and mobbing.
Rest in Peace Mr. Mandela.
Ugo is a psychotherapist and life coach.