Posts by Stephanie Van Hook

Self-sufficiency: Daily Metta

“We do not want to universalize the Charkha through mass production in one place.” ~ Gandhi, Harijan, October 20, 1946 The spinning wheel, Gandhi was firm, should not become a centralized product that makes spinners dependent on someone far away to manufacture or fix them. They should be built in the villages directly, and every… read more

The Searchlight: Daily Metta

“You have to magnify your own faults a thousandfold and shut your eyes to the faults of your neighbors. That is the only way to real progress.” ~ Gandhi, Harijan, October 26, 1947 Just a year before the end of his life, Gandhi was pouring out jewels of wisdom about the inward dynamics of the… read more

Accounting: Daily Metta

“Let every youth take a leaf out of my book and make it a point to account for everything that comes into and goes out of his pocket.” ~ Gandhi, Autobiography, p. 52 Gandhi began while in England as a young man studying law to take very good records of his expenses and income. Offering… read more

On Spinning: Daily Metta

“To see Gangabehn at her loom is a stirring sight. When this unlettered but self-possessed sister plies at her loom, she becomes so lost in it that it is difficult to distract her attention, and much more difficult to draw her eyes off her beloved loom.” ~ Gandhi, Autobiography, p. 494 We all know by… read more

Despair: Daily Metta

“You must never despair of human nature.” ~ Gandhi, Harijan, November 5, 1938 This is not an utterance from an overly optimistic “saint” who knows nothing about what human beings can do to one another. Gandhi saw human violence: prejudice, beatings, mob killings, exploitation and starvation, you name it. But he understood that these atrocities… read more

Gentleness: Daily Metta

“Satyagraha is gentle, it never wounds.” ~ Gandhi, Harijan, April 5, 1933 At what point do we lose our gentleness as grown ups? A harsh word here, a resentful thought there, a cynical statement to follow. It’s not easy to be gentle, especially when others are not gentle to us. But Gandhi reminds us that… read more

A Challenge: Daily Metta

“Every murder or other injury, no matter for what cause, committed or inflicted on another is a crime against humanity.” ~ Gandhi, Harijan, July 20, 1925 There’s a sign for Army recruitment on the way out of Petaluma that I pass daily. A picture of a young woman, probably a recent high school grad (it… read more

Method: Daily Metta

“This method may appear to be long, perhaps too long, but I am convinced that it is the shortest.” ~ Gandhi, “Amrita Bazar Patrika,” September 17, 1933 In 2013, political scientist Erica Chenoweth was named among 100 top global researchers by Foreign Policy magazine for “proving Gandhi right.” In Why Civil Resistance Works, a groundbreaking,… read more

Purity of Means: Daily Metta

“I feel, too, that our progress towards the goal will be in exact proportion to the purity of our means.” ~ Gandhi, “Amrita Bazar Patrika,” September 17, 1933 Here’s where people might balk at Gandhi, call him a “purist” and then reject everything he has ever said about nonviolence. I’m not exaggerating, I’ve heard the… read more