Gandhi's wisdom rings true for us today
By Dick Rozek
I shouldn't be, but I am amazed at how the great truths of the world show up again right on cue.
As I write this, I'm reading again a book about Mohandas Gandhi. He was the great 20th century Indian leader who single-handedly toppled the British empire with his mantra of peace and love.
It was Gandhi's paradigm that every human conflict is solved by principle and high moral values, and, most effectively, by peaceful, non-violent resistance to oppression. Peace and love, not bullets and aggression, were his mantra. Martin Luther King Jr. got that and used it to usher in a new dawn in America.
Gandhi's seven sins were: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humility, worship without sacrifice, and politics without principle.
Every one of them applies today in some form of oppression by people against others.
His words couldn't ring more true than they do right now throughout the world, but especially in America.
Read his seven sins and you find yourself gasping, "That's us! He's describing us!"
How could someone who came into his prime nearly a century ago have seen into our time? The answer has to be that humans really haven't changed much as to how they relate to one another. Very sad. As the self-proclaimed highest developed species on the planet, we insist on rebelling against our own personal and national growth by refusing to recognize that in separation there is disarray, in unity there is harmony and everyone thrives.
Consider Gandhi's formidable insight into the human psyche: "It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honoured by the humiliation of their fellow beings."
Reflect. Count the ways we do that to each other every day.
Try this: "There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed."
Or, "Man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep."
Or this: "I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love."
It's established that in the affairs of men, what goes around comes around. Gandhi's wisdom is as true now as in his time. In 2012, the transition from a relatively free society to one in which "elite" groups of people rule over obedient serfs seems almost complete.
How can that be? Perhaps the truth is that most people do not love the truth; they try to make true that which they love.
We became a nation demanding instant gratification to satisfy our corporate and individual insatiability. That requires expansion of our debt economy, the road to nowhere, no matter who gets crushed.
After the (2008) financial meltdown, the people saw that multiple layers of staggering greed had been at work and out of sight of all but the "regulators." The rewards were simply too great to ignore (wealth without work). It morphed into financial collapse. Grand theft. Plain. Simple.
We changed our laws to accommodate demands of special money interests (politics without principle).
That greased the skids for gifting away our industry (commerce without morality).
Our Congress and our New Hampshire legislature refuse to fulfill their charges (knowledge without character).
Congress mightily resists giving to all what it easily gives to itself, health care (science without humility).
For very few, pleasure without conscience.
Mahatma Gandhi forced Britain to withdraw from its dominion over India.
It is time for "the others," as Robert Azzi calls them, to be heard.
Gandhi, calm, resolute when he spoke these words to British overloads. So must we be as we proclaim to our leaders: "We will not submit to this injustice, not merely because it is destroying us, but because it is destroying you as well."