My friend had saved me that day! Yes he had! Even though it should not have mattered much, I was really paranoid on 2nd October checking my SMS every minute. Was I being too inconsiderate to expect one text paying homage to this world leader who led by being the change that he wanted to see in others? It was 2nd of October last year- Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday and I was expecting at least one tribute text. Valentines day, A day, B day, not A day, not B day, just a normal day, a day of gratitude, a day of nothingness - greetings seem endless and I stand clueless in accommodating the spam texts in my phone. But not a single message commemorating the special day in history did I receive that day, until one dear friend proved to be really thoughtful.
In a time when we show off being passionate about things small and smaller, it’s obvious that our cognitive interest in Gandhism has shrunk to a mere fashion. It feels sad. The essence of Gandhiji'steachingscan't be more relevant than now. Increased hatred and animosity, cribbing over power, money, fame – the world is fast moving away from its basics. Many times, I sit by and contemplate the lovely moments that I lived as a child. Life was simple and beautiful and I didn't have to do much to achieve that pristine happiness. Today, life is edgy and way too fast, I do not have the time to stop by a flower and touch its tender petals or gaze at the virgin, blue sky. Life has changed indeed.
Coming to Gandhi, I do not have any issues with Google’s G on their homepage with Gandhiji's face on 2nd of October, neither do I have any issues with Mont Blanc self proclaiming the Gandhi brand. But is that what Gandhism all about? Isn’t it time to move beyond superficiality? Brand Gandhi has a huge responsibility, and even though no one has the copyright, we must ensure proper credits, in terms of the essence of Gandhism, which none of the advertising houses do.
Honesty and integrity: it doesn’t take much, does it?
We don’t have to wear a loin cloth in order to live by Gandhism. We can have a simple approach even in good clothes and good living. Simplicity in the ways we think, believe and do, can make a huge difference, because we are not what we wear or eat, but what we think.
Teachings of Mahatma Gandhi can never get outdated. They are very relevant now and will forever be. Peace, tolerance, respect, indomitable determination, belief in might, the power of now – all are so pertinent in today’s context. "If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable." He lived by great virtues and inspired the vision for humanity, and dreamed of a world full of peace and harmony.
I think it’s time we consider Gandhi’s teachings, and live by the lessons that he aspired to for the world. Gandhi had taught people through example and his every move pronounced mighty belief and virtues. It's difficult to capture Gandhiji in an article. This is my tribute to the magnaminous person who lived a life with minimal needs.
Teaching # 1: 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.
Teaching # 2: What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?
Teaching # 3: "There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no cause that I am prepared to kill for".
Teaching # 4: An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind
Teaching #5: We must become the change we want to see in the world.
“Generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe that such one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.” - Albert Einstein on Gandhi