The opposite of violence is not only non-violence but it is also empowerment. To me, there isn’t always a black and white definition to everything. In this case, the opposite of violence is non-violence and empowerment. The definition of empowerment, according to Merriam-Webster is “the act or action of empowering someone or something” (Merriam-Webster).
This reminds me of Kapu Aloha. Kapu Aloha is a way of living for Native Hawaiians as we oppose the building of an 18 meter telescope on Mauna A Wakea aka Mauna Kea. This mountain is a sacred place for many Native Hawaiian people, and it is important to us to keep this mountain as beautiful and pristine as possible. As Native Hawaiians protect Mauna Kea, something that we must follow in doing so is Kapu Aloha. Beautifully put, Kapu Aloha in one definition is “The movement of consciousness the movement of awakening. To do something if at all possible without harming anyone or anything, but yet to move forward. And we have to join hands with every other nation around the world that is doing the same. That is the movement” (Tanigawa, 2015).
Standing in non violence to protect Mauna Kea is being empowered and giving other people empowerment. This is empowering people to stand up for what they believe in with love and aloha instead of violence. We can be powerful forces to be reckoned with but not cause harm in any way. We can speak our truth and share our knowledge without hurting anyone. We can live with Kapu Aloha everyday and yet stand up for Mauna Kea and ensure that a telescope will not be built on our beautiful land.
We can empower others by living with love and spreading that love even if a part of us believes that they “don’t deserve it”. We must not act out in violence to one another, but instead treat them with the love and respect that we wish to receive. Our country runs on violence, but it is time for us to make that change. To empower each other, we must begin with being kind to one another.
Merriam-Webster, 2019. Retrieved From: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empowerment
Tanigawa, N. July 31, 2015. Kapu Aloha: Power of Love. Hawai’i Public Radio.