How Gandhi Inspires Me to Transform My Life

GandhiHappy International Day of Nonviolence, commemorating Gandhi’s 145th birthday (aka “‘Spinning Wheel’ (charkha) Birthday”)!  The UN designates this day as an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”.

On this occasion I wanted to share five of my favorite quotes from Gandhi that keeps encouraging me, to strive for my dreams and live true to my values: Continue reading

Secret of Leadership and Power

Leadership“Violence can destroy power; it is utterly incapable of creating it.”
– Hannah Arendt

The concept of leadership can mean different things to each person.  People have various styles of leadership.  So what makes someone a leader, and how does he exert influence, or power, on others?

When I heard about Arendt’s theory of power in a class, I was first surprised by the seemingly paradoxical standpoint.  Arendt says that violence is an indication of the lack of power.  But use of violence and force is often associated with power, as we see in ever-increasing military forces in the world today. Continue reading

Story of New Story – Introducing Metta’s Roadmap

roadmap emergenceToday, the Metta Center for Nonviolence released its latest issue of monthly e-magazine, Emergence.  The issue focused on Roadmap, a way of making the movement of movements visual.  Roadmap is also a set of tools we can use as activists.  It is Metta Center’s attempt to offer three things to help create an unstoppable movement: unity, strategy, and nonviolent power.  The Vol 6 of Emergence will be a great “one-stop shop” for those seeking to learn more about Roadmap or simply trying become familiar with nonviolence and Metta’s work.

For this exciting issue, I helped compile all the pieces as a guest editor, and also contributed an article on “New Story,” one of the six wedges of Roadmap and one on which Metta Center places a great emphasis.  It was also very timely that the latest issue of Yes! Magazine featured “The Power of Story.”  The issue contains some powerful quotes on the need for new narratives that would remind us of our human dignity and interconnectedness with others.

Below is my article, “Story of New Story,” as published in Emergence.  I hope you enjoy it and also read the rest of the issue!

Continue reading

Where Spirituality Meets Social Change

Recently David Loy contributed an article to openDemocracy, providing a Buddhist perspective on human qualities upon which modern institutions of economy and politics are based.  I truly appreciated that through his article Loy connected the Buddhist wisdom and the very problems our society is facing today.  At the same time, since this is timely, I thought I would share my own perspective.  His article also reminded me why I feel passionate about working for nonviolence – a place where my spirituality meets my intellectual curiosity, passion for social change, and desire to take practical actions.  Continue reading

Just Because We Do Not Know.

People Power (Philippines, 1986)

People Power (Philippines, 1986)

I used to wonder what an individual could do in the face of war and conflict. Decisions on international politics and foreign policy are made at such a high level that I felt there was nothing I could do about it.

But in reality, there are many ways to affect change, and some are very practical – and creative.

Have you heard of “third-party intervention” and “unarmed civilian peacekeeping” (UCP) in conflicts? I was first introduced to the concepts last year while studying for the Certificate in Nonviolence Studies at the Metta Center for Nonviolence. Through the work of organizations such as Peace Brigates International and Nonviolent Peaceforce, hundreds of volunteers have traveled to conflict zones to defuse violence and protect human rights workers. Interesting, right?

Here I want to share a story of Karen Ridd from the book, Search For A Nonviolent Future, written by the founder of Metta Center, Michael Negler.  It is a little long, but I think you will enjoy it. (You can also download the book in PDF.) Continue reading

Watch Your Mouth: The Shame of Shaming

Image courtesy of luigi diamanti /

Image courtesy of luigi diamanti /

Technology has changed the way we receive news. Not only do we get updates and breaking news instantly, we also have the ability to comment on articles and share on social media.

Every day, we read disheartening news from all over the world, such as the situation in Crimea and the scandal of a senator in California. Even after exploring so many human rights issues, it is still beyond me that human beings are extremely capable of harming others to promote self interests.

Equally disheartening to me, though, are some of the people’s comments, directed to in this case, Putin and Leland Yee. Continue reading