How many times have we felt the urge of punching someone in the face? How many times have we kept our wildest desires locked because they were too strong? How many times have we wanted to tell the others what we really thought? In our daily life we must face tons of problems and we all react in different ways. Is passive resistance effective? Or is it better to confront them violently? We need to stand up and face them, but no t with violence.
Violence doesn’t solve anything; in fact it makes it all worse. By using violence when facing a problem we are being just as wrong as the problem itself, we are putting ourselves in the same position. Furthermore, we provoke a violent answer which leads to a bigger problem. Such is the case of wars, where through violent ways human losses are caused. Auschwitz is a perfect example of the consequences of violence. All actions have consequences, and the more aggressive an action, is the more tragic its outcome will be.
Secondly, if we respond badly towards the problem, we are letting it bring us down. It is important for this not to happen, we need to stand up to our values and let the silence, or the words (if they don’t cause a worse reaction), be our shield. By the use of non aggressive, and therefore passive resistance, we are letting what is causing us pain not bring us down and undermine our values.
On the other hand, sometimes by not confronting a problem directly we are causing so much pain that it’s essential to respond by opposing actively. By acting passively we are creating a bigger problem, such is the case of the Iraq mess where the only possible solution is to confront the enemy. The problem needs to be stopped or it’ll grow into something far more tragic.
We can conclude that the use of violence when facing a problem is useless, because it involves tragic consequences. However, there are cases where opposing actively is the only possible solution, but those are exceptions. We need to stand up and not let the problem bring us down. As Lucretius said: ‘The drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence but by oft falling.’
So let´s say that you are walking down the street on your way back home, and by the time you are about to open your house’s door, you see an old woman getting robbed. What do you do? Everyone would say that they would go and kick the burglar’s butt, but we all know that many of them wouldn’t even look at the scene because it’s none of their business, and after a few hours they’d tweet something like: “I just saw a granny getting robbed. How disgusting! #StopRobbing”. That’s what passive resistance is about, and it’s actually useless.
A few days ago, while I was watching TV an ad popped out saying: “There are two kinds of people: the ones who say we need a change, and the people who make things change”. It was from the Red Cross, and the person claiming that is completely right. Because words are beautiful, but action is what makes the difference.
I can’t stop thinking about people saying the exact same thing as I do, such as Michael Jackson in his song “Man in the mirror”: “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make the change”, or a Spanish rapper named Calle 13, in his song “La vuelta al mundo”, in which he talks about how no one is going to fix anything for you, and if you want something to be done, you have to do it yourself.
All in all, I truly believe that passive resistance is not useful, and even more: passive resistance is probably what brought our society this close to –at least it seems to me- the beginning of World War III, and that’s mainly because we have let everyone do whatever they wanted because, again, it’s none of our business. Everyone wants to change the world, but no one wants to try.
“I would prefer not to”. We all want to say that a few times a day just like Bartleby in the book “Bartleby – The Scrivener”. However, we can’t, we have obligations to follow and work to do. Yet is it really effective to be passively resistant? I think that in some cases it would be a good solution to show some resistance, but not always.
First of all, violence is never a solution to a problem. However, some people might think it’s the best way of showing and teaching someone a lesson, but in most cases it will make it only worse. Nevertheless, if you use violence, how can the other person understand your perspective? The answer is that they can’t and won’t understand it.
So, the best way to show resistance is to say so, but we have obligations, bills to pay, food to buy… You can and should say no to the things you don’t want to do, but some others are just inevitable and you shouldn’t let it get out of control like Bartleby.
Finally, the most important fact is that if you resist you should give and think of solutions. You can’t just say you don’t want to do it and that’s it, you should show interest in improving and resolving the problem or situation.
In conclusion, in my opinion you should resist in some cases, but in others it’s nonsense because in the end everyone has to do it, like for example going to work or paying bills. Besides, I think that Bartleby is not a good example to follow.