Friday Filosophy v.11.25.2022
In Friday Filosophy v.11.25.2022, our founder Ron Slee shares quotes and words of wisdom from Mohandas Gandhi.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi; 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist and political ethicist who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s independence from British rule, and to later inspire movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahatma (Sanskrit: “great-souled”, “venerable”), first applied to him in 1914 in South Africa, is now used throughout the world.
Born and raised in a Hindu family in coastal Gujarat, Gandhi trained in the law at the Inner Temple, London, and was called to the bar at age 22 in June 1891. After two uncertain years in India, where he was unable to start a successful law practice, he moved to South Africa in 1893 to represent an Indian merchant in a lawsuit. He went on to live in South Africa for 21 years. It was here that Gandhi raised a family and first employed nonviolent resistance in a campaign for civil rights. In 1915, aged 45, he returned to India and soon set about organizing peasants, farmers, and urban laborers to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination.
Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women’s rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, and, above all, achieving swaraj or self-rule. Gandhi adopted the short dhoti woven with hand-spun yarn as a mark of identification with India’s rural poor. He began to live in a self-sufficient residential community, to eat simple food, and undertake long fasts as a means of both introspection and political protest. Bringing anti-colonial nationalism to the common Indians, Gandhi led them in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km (250 mi) Dandi Salt March in 1930 and in calling for the British to quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned many times and for many years in both South Africa and India.
Gandhi’s vision of an independent India based on religious pluralism was challenged in the early 1940s by a Muslim nationalism which demanded a separate homeland for Muslims within British India. In August 1947, Britain granted independence, but the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two dominions, a Hindu-majority India and a Muslim-majority Pakistan. As many displaced Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs made their way to their new lands, religious violence broke out, especially in the Punjab and Bengal. Abstaining from the official celebration of independence, Gandhi visited the affected areas, attempting to alleviate distress. In the months following, he undertook several hunger strikes to stop the religious violence. The last of these, begun in Delhi on 12 January 1948 when he was 78, also had the indirect goal of pressuring India to pay out some cash assets owed to Pakistan. Although the Government of India relented, as did the religious rioters, the belief that Gandhi had been too resolute in his defense of both Pakistan and Indian Muslims, especially those besieged in Delhi, spread among some Hindus in India. Among these was Nathuram Godse, a militant Hindu nationalist from western India, who assassinated Gandhi by firing three bullets into his chest at an interfaith prayer meeting in Delhi on 30 January 1948.
Gandhi’s birthday, 2 October, is commemorated in India as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence. Gandhi is commonly, though not formally, considered the Father of the Nation in India and was commonly called Bapu (Gujarati: endearment for father, papa).
- Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
- You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
- Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
- Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment.
- The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
- You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
- A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
- A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.
- There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.
- I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.
- You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.
- Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?
- Morality is the basis of things and truth is the substance of all morality.
- There is more to life than increasing its speed.
- Man’s nature is not essentially evil. Brute nature has been known to yield to the influence of love. You must never despair of human nature.
- All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.
- Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.
The Time is Now
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