Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 11/18/2016


I’ve decided to start reading up on Gandhi’s nonviolent movement by reading a collection of his essays and letters. I have always eschewed political activism and I now believe that was largely due to my privilege (yep, I said it). Really, when your like it’s comfortable and undisturbed by prejudice, oppression and hate things like safety and freedom of expression seem superfluous. Sadly, my generation is now finding out they’re not. 

Gandhi represents the polar opposite of the fascists who have taken control of our government. Principled, honest, self-abnegating. The power of his virtue is what lead the Indian people to greatness. I hope that, through studying him and others like him, I can make for myself a path towards liberation that confronts oppression with compassion and a courageous heart. 

This morning, I had yet another chance to hone my skills when I saw a young man and woman in a physical altercation. I ran across the street (stupidly) and approached them yelling at him to stop. They separated, she walked ahead with him following herb and both of them ignoring me. I followed behind determined not to allow the fight to start up again. Fortunately for all of us, a cop car was parked on the side of the road and she stopped on front of it and began to make her case. I took that a my cue to leave. I hope I would have reacted with patience and forbearance if I needed to get involved physically so I hope to continue to practice to ensure that I have the best chance to do so if necessary. 

Things seem to have soured here and I see more violence and animosity everyday. Let’s hope that it’s just my perception though and that I’m just imagining it. 

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.