Violence has to be learned.

This story came in a letter from Helen Woodson, who is in a US jail for anti-nuclear protest.


There is an old legend about two elderly Orthodox monks who have lived together for fifty years.  One remarks, ‘We do not fight like other people.’  The second says, ‘I do not know how to fight.’

‘It’s like this,’ says the first.  ‘I will place this brick on the ground between us and say that it’s my brick.  You will say it’s your brick, and then we can fight.’

So the brick is put on the ground, and the first monk says, ‘That is my brick.’

‘No,’ says the second.  ‘That is my brick.’

‘You’re wrong,’ says the first. ‘It is mine.’

And the second replies, ‘Since it means so much to you, you may certainly have it.  God bless you.’

And they never did learn to fight.