I was told by a one-time friend that compassion was insufficient to stop wars. That peaceful anti-war marches were often unequal to the task they set out to achieve. He said that compassion was not enough. You needed more. Sometimes violence was required to make the point, that those ends justify the means. I did not, do not, cannot, will not ever concede that point.
He thought I was a pacifist. I am not. I would defend my homeland as I would my family and if in that defence my enemy was killed, regrettable and horrid an eventuality as that would be, self-preservation is Tao. It is the way of things. Defence of oneself is a natural and a legitimate act.
My one time friend then, thinking I was a pacifist, told me he wasn't. That act's of violence are sometimes required in aid of making a point and that he had and would use violent methods of protest to that end.
That is wrong.
Wrong about compassion. Wrong about violent protest.
He also asked me to number the times peaceful protests had achieved their aims?
In truth, I don't know much less care. You either are a peace protester or you aren't. If you are not someone who protests peacefully then you are no different to those you protest about.
Ironically, my one-time friend now insists he is a pacifist and, oddly enough, always was.
I guess that means something and for the sake of a once valued friendship I accept that it takes two to tango. And so long as that dance is a peaceful one I think it best to forgive and forget.
Peace must be achieved by peaceful means.