In thanksgiving for life, I pledge to overcome VIOLENCE, all of which is rooted in fear, by observing that fighting violence by violence leads to more violence and death and, thus, to foster life by acting NON-VIOLENTLY.

Let these words settle into your whole being. When you feel complete with your meditation on the pledge, deepen your exploration with the following reflections and practice suggestions.

  • Reflect upon Br. David’s claim that “violence…is rooted in fear.” Can you find examples that support this claim? In your own life? In the lives of others? In the world?
  • Blame, judgement, and domination are forms of violence. Can you see ways in which your behavior might be experienced as violent? Or do you see this behavior in those around you?
  • Can you identify the fear behind such controlling behaviors? How might you address your fears with compassion rather than judgement?
  • What are some other ways you can take a stand against violence in our world?
  • Commit to overcoming violence through cultivating awareness and compassionate action.

Should you be inspired, please leave a reflection below…

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Enjoy the full five-day In Thanksgiving for Life practice.


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Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB

Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB

About the author
Brother David Steindl-Rast — author, scholar, and Benedictine monk — is beloved the world over for his enduring message about gratefulness as the true source of lasting happiness. Known to many as the “grandfather of gratitude,” Br. David has been a source of inspiration and spiritual friendship to countless leaders and luminaries around the world including Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Thomas Merton, and more. He has been one of the most important figures in the modern interfaith dialogue movement, and has taught with thought-leaders such as Eckhart Tolle, Jack Kornfield, and Roshi Joan Halifax. His wisdom has been featured in recent interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Krista Tippett, and Tami Simon and his TED talk has been viewed almost 10,000,000 times. Learn more about Br. David here.