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Freedom Collection

Interviews with Jose Ramos-Horta

Interviewed January 8, 2010

If I were to– send a message to people in—Burma or to the Palestinians or anyone who´s struggling for freedom, for dignity, I say do not lose hope, persevere– focus on the struggle. But never surrender to hatred, to violence because at the moment you surrender to hatred, to violence, you are losing.

And– this is not rhetorical because– if you are not able to– maintain– your– integrity as a man, as a woman or non-violence, of– as a human being, if you start– feeling hatred, and temptation to use violence against the adversary, particular the adversary that is not armed, I guarantee you, you are starting to lose because you have already lost or you are losing your moral– superiority, your moral integrity.

So my advice is– never ever surrender to hatred. Never allow yourself to be hostage of violence, of– hatred. Do not– answer an eye for an eye. You manage to beat your adversary with your resilience, your– your faith, with your commitment to– non-violence. My advice also is– be open-minded, be flexible.

Do not be dogmatic. Look at tactics, how you can advance your cause one little step at a time. Maybe step sideways in order to move forward. Don´t– go against a rock, against a wall. Try to– move around. So– be very flexible always– tactically. Focus on your goal. The goal is freedom, the goal is independence. But everything else is negotiable. Everything else is tactical. You– must be– f– flexible.