Let’s become the change

Let’s become the change

“Gandhi was the greatest advocate of non-violence, and he proved that it is non-violence that pays, by getting us our much needed freedom using non-violent means.” - Apperna S
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The birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, “The Father of the Nation” and one of the most influential persons of the twentieth century, is celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence by the UN. A befitting honour indeed, to the great soul who lived his teachings.

Gandhi was not just a political leader; he was a social reformer and a spiritual person too. He lived his teachings in the true sense. His life includes some really valuable teachings like the principles of honesty, non-violence, punctuality and simplicity. An honest person is true to himself and to the world. Where there is honesty, there is truth. His actions are pure. He can never think of doing anything dishonest or of lying.

Gandhi was the greatest advocate of non-violence, and he proved that it is non-violence that pays, by getting us our much-needed freedom using non-violent means. His words, “There are many causes that I am prepared to die for, but no cause that I am prepared to kill for” bring out how much he valued non-violence. He also believed, “An eye for an eye will only make the world blind.” So he never believed in taking revenge by waging wars of bloodshed. He was a true votary of multi-religious identity. As per him, “Even as a tree has a single trunk, but many branches and leaves, there is one religion- Human religion- but many numbers of faiths.” He further said, “The essence of all religions is one, only their approaches are different.” Though he drew inspiration from The Gita, and remained a devout Hindu, he was open to influences of all religions. He said, “I want the cultures of all lands to blow about my house freely as possible, but I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.”

His teachings are highly relevant in today’s world, which is filled with vices, hatred, corruption, intolerance, violence, and is with a total degradation of the society in all means. Religious intolerance is the root cause for violence and hatred in today’s world. If everyone understood that there is only one religion and start to perceive every person as his Divine sibling, hatred would get wiped off completely.

Patience and endurance had always been part of Gandhi’s life and in his struggle for freedom. We find that these days patience is considered to be a trait of a loser. But as the saying goes, “Patience is bitter, but its fruits are sweet,” a patient man will find success eventually. Of course, it doesn’t mean one should put up with atrocities in the act of being patient. But where there is patience and tolerance, endurance and perseverance come by easily and help in accomplishing even the toughest of tasks.

Another important teaching of Mahatma Gandhi is, “We must become the change we want to see in the world.” While he advocated simplicity, honesty, punctuality, tolerance, perseverance and much more, he lived it, and didn’t just leave it for others to practise. Instead of expecting others to change, if each one of us changed ourselves, we can bring about peace both within ourselves and in the world. Gandhi’s teachings are not for a particular period but for eternity and will always have relevance. As parents and teachers, we should see that our children are taught Gandhi’s life and teachings so as to make them grow into good and responsible citizens.

By Apperna S

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