I thought of Gandhi's comments as I read this piece. Gandhi said, "The purity of the means determines the purity of the end" and "we must be the change we want in the world." Hate begets hate. Peace begets peace. We wake up by however we awake -- there is no one way -- some may spontaneously wake up, some are awakened by a problem or crisis, some by association with someone who is awake. I suppose it most frequently takes something or somebody shaking us, knocking us out of our routine. In the process of being honest with self, honest reflection, and honest interaction with others we grow in awareness of our faults, our dishonesty, our agendas, our negative divisions. I think of a response as wholistic, as a combination of my thinking and feeling, as the result of some discernment and wisdom and discipline, as chosen. I think of reaction as impulsive, autonomic, knee-jerk. As for a personal story, I felt very wronged by an individual years ago -- my reaction was feeling sorry for myself, anger, and thoughts of hurting him in all kinds of ways -- my response slowly became to think about ways I am like him, think about forgiving, feel less anger and more mellow and more forgiving. My reacting and responding are still going on, and my reaction is lessening and my response is growing, and that feels satisfying on the inside.
On May 4, 2012 David Doane wrote :