How to Be a Pacifist

Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

Many people often express a desire to be less violent and more caring, but don't know how to start. Do they go and protest against war in a march? Do they give all their spare time to campaigning for Buddhist non-violence? Here are a few steps that can help you integrate pacifism into your life.


  1. Being a pacifist is not about the label.If you want to be a pacifist, it's good to start with identifying your reasons why. Try not to jump into it for status or being able to tell all your friends that you've become a non-violent person.
  2. Starting with simple changes, like not hoovering up bugs on the carpet but letting them out, are small yet effective ways of including pacifism into your life.
  3. Try to read up on the Jainist, Buddhist or Hindu principles of Ahimsa.Ahimsa is non-violence, and this can help you see other people's perspective of non-violence.
  4. The Buddha, very specifically, spoke of having compassion for all things.The next time you feel yourself heating up because your neighbor has let his dog poop on your lawn, take a deep breath and let it go. Pacifism extends to both emotions and actions.
  5. If your pacifism begins to extend to a more global view, make sure that you don't begin to blame organizations or groups for violence in the world.Remember that they believe they are doing the right thing -- for whatever reason.
  6. If you feel like you need to do more, consider searching for peace or protest marches in your area or in a city near you.Join in with large peace-related projects.
  7. Remember that pacifism isn't just an instant change.Society can largely view violence with contempt in the right conditions (self-defence, violent video-games, the war against terror, etc.). Smaller steps will be more successful.
  8. Keeping a plant can also help with non-violence by causing you to care for something else alive.The same applies to having a pet.
  9. If you are trying to be non-violent towards someone or something try to count to ten or twenty, if you are very violent just walk away.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Is a pacifist against the death penalty?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes. Killing someone is considered violence, and pacifists are against violence.
  • Question
    How do I stop being a sadist and stop watching violent videos?
    Charles Villaflor
    Community Answer
    Interact more in a peaceful way with others instead of doing things that cause physical fights or harm. Seeking help from a therapist can also be a good idea to lessen your addiction to violence. Resolve everything in a peaceful way.
  • Question
    I want to become a pacifist. I'm in middle school; when the kids fight, should I not intervene any try to stop them? When I do I get in trouble!
    Top Answerer
    Breaking up a fight usually isn't very safe. If one of the people is a friend, you might offer encouragement to walk away by saying "Let's go" or "It's not worth it." Discourage those trying to start fights by telling them to knock it off. Otherwise, go get an adult for help - don't put yourself at risk of getting hurt. As a kid, your influence is limited. One of the best things you can do at your age is to read and educate yourself so you can grow up to be a well-informed and thoughtful pacifist.
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  • Reading books about non-violence and topics that are related can be great for widening your perspective on pacifism.
  • Thinking about your reasoning behind pacifism every day can be very helpful during stressful times.
  • Listening to music and watching films that are peace-promoting such as Johnny Got His Gun and Platoon, can help you to transform your mind frame.
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter or disability place.


  • Non-violence, in some situations, can be dangerous. For example, in very high-publicized protests.
  • Do not watch violent movies, play violent video games, or listen to violent music.


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Date: 09.12.2018, 22:30 / Views: 31261