Day 3: Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy was a Russian writer, philosopher and political thinker. He is equally known for his complicated and paradoxical persona and for his extreme moralistic and ascetic views, which he adopted after a moral crisis and spiritual awakening in the 1870s. He subsequently became noted as a moral thinker, social reformer, and Georgist. His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian anarchist and anarcho-pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and James Bevel.

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For today, take a moment to reflect on his words: “I sit on a man’s back, choking him, and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by any means possible, except getting off his back.”

In what ways are you in this situation? What are two things you can do today to bring this into greater alignment?

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