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"Wisdom and virtue are like the two wheels of a cart."

- Japanese Proverb

How to respond to violence

By Sharda ten Hove on 14 January 2013

We were all shocked when we read about Amanat, the 23-year-old medical student from Delhi who died after a savage gang-rape on a bus. The story, the images... they all trigger emotions of anger, hate, sadness, incomprehensibility and our first reaction is to respond out of these emotions.

I myself have been in contact through my work with (young) women who have been victims of human trafficking and their stories have deeply touched me. Some nights I would cry myself to sleep wondering why and how it is possible that there are people hurting others so badly that they are traumatized for life or in cases like Amanat have died because of this extreme violence.

Still I do not believe that the answer is to respond out of hatred because the circle of fear and hate will then continue to go on. If you allow yourself to see that we are somehow all connected even with those who afflict incredible pain on others, if you allow yourself to believe that we all carry a light inside then maybe you can allow yourself to respond in a different way.

Many people are in favor of hanging the ones who committed this horrible crime against Amanat. Of course there should be justice, people who have committed crimes should be punished but lets try not to let ourselves get drawn into hatred. I believe in the power of energy. I believe that all the thoughts and prayers collectively sent can reach someone. I believe that all the candles lit for Amanat will guide her wherever she is now. That is a healing energy for those sending and those receiving.

True, I don’t know the criminals personally and if she would have been my daughter or family member I can only hope that I would respond the same as I do now. I will light 2 candles this evening. One will be for every girl or woman on this planet who is suffering through crimes afflicted by ignorant men, may these women find help and guidance. I will also light another candle this evening for the ones who are guilty of afflicting pain on a girl or woman. Not to forgive them. I will pray that all the millions of men who are at this moment committing horrible crimes against women, will come to realize their actions and change their behavior. I will pray that they will find their inner light, might it be just a spark. For it is through light that we will find our way out of the darkness while hatred will only keep us there.

A lot of healing energy has already been sent and I applaud all those who are sending positive energy whether individually or in groups.


About the author

Sharda ten Hove

Founder, Ethical Vegan, Yogi, Social Activist

Sharda was born and raised in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Descended from an Indian mother and Dutch father, she received a multi-cultural upbringing during which she gained a broad perspective on life.…  Read full bio