October 2, 2016 is the 147th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.
A time for reflection, no doubt, and today that’s bound to be sobering. Violence is eroding the human mind, body, and spirit, indeed life in general, almost—but not quite everywhere. It is just about everywhere that most people would ever look, i.e. the mass media. You and I somehow have the privilege of looking elsewhere, which gives us a unique capacity and responsibility. Let me cite one examples of the great counter force launched by the man who was born 147 years ago on this day, who lay down his life for the cause that was symbolized in the charkha, or spinning wheel, after which he wanted October 2 to be remembered: charkha jayanti, “spinning wheel birthday.” (more…)
After fielding some commonly asked questions about my new book, Gandhi Searches for Truth: A Practical Biography for Children, I thought it’d be useful to post my answers here, so that others may learn more about the book and Gandhi. Have questions about bulk orders for your school, bookstore, or library? Please email me for details: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is it a “practical” biography? What is “practical” about it?
Gandhi referred to himself as a “practical idealist.” He wanted to take big ideas, like nonviolence, Truth, love and equality, and work them out in practice. At the same time, Gandhi is only practical if we understand and really take to heart that he was a human being, like us. We don’t have to think of Gandhi as though he were just a figure for the history books–we can look to him to empower ourselves to be brave enough to try things differently when necessary. (more…)
The following is a guest blog post by Arvin Paranjpe.
As a parent with absolutely no experience in teaching or leading kids, I had a crazy but faintly lucid idea: I should start a week-long nonviolence camp for my six year-old daughter.
And so I did—with the help of my wife, several part-time parents, three volunteers, and six wonderful girls ranging from six to nine years old.
I had my reasons to start a nonviolence day camp, which we dubbed The Heart of a Hero Camp. For one, I want my daughter, and all children, to live a life full of peace and love. Gandhi believed that if we are to reach real peace in this world—and if we are to carry on a real war against war—we must begin with our children. (more…)
After the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, Viet Cong resistance fighters testified that they were encouraged in their fight for freedom by the spirit and steadfastness of Dr. King and the Black freedom movement (Hope and History, Vincent Harding, p. 5). Martin Luther King was not dead in Vietnam.
In June 1989, 21 years after the death of Martin Luther King, thousands of Chinese students protested for Chinese democracy. In Beijing’s Tiananmen Square they hung great banners announcing in English, “We Shall Overcome” (Ibid, p 3). Martin Luther King was not dead in China. (more…)
Mahatma Gandhi was an ordinary child who sought to do something extraordinary with his life: he wanted to discover Truth. This book chronicles Gandhi’s inner and outer journey from childhood to the independence of India in twelve short stories, with beautiful watercolor and ink images of Gandhi and his family. For both children and grown-ups, these stories explore how Gandhi discovered key principles and tools of nonviolence, including concepts like “satyagraha” and “nonviolent non-cooperation.” Most importantly, it addresses how we can bring his great message in our own lives and become peacemakers at any age!
Special guest Robin Wildman, a nonviolence educator from Broad Rock Middle School in Rhode Island with 25 years of teaching experience, led this three-part series on June 9th, July 14th, and August 4th from 5 – 6pm PST. Topics included breaking down conflict, understanding core nonviolence principles, and reconciling conflict.
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.
La violencia solamente daña a quienes ya están dañados...En vez de revelar la brutalidad del opresor, la justifica.
You never change anything by fighting the existing. To change
something, build a new model and make the existing obsolete!
The first principle of nonviolent action is that of non-cooperation with everything humiliating.
The thing about nonviolence is that when you step out of the shower, you are fully armed.
Rev. Bernard Lafayette
Violent revolutions usually only mean a change of personnel at the top.
I was a prisoner, but I always felt free because I was not frightened… So for me real freedom is freedom from fear.
Aung San Suu Kyi
I freed a lot of slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.
The greatest radicals are all revolutionaries of the heart.
Building cultures of peace is long-haul work, undramatic and unheralded, and often infinitely tedious, and most of the people doing it probably don’t even think of themselves as practitioners of nonviolence. Maybe it’s time they did.
Carol Lee Flinders
Love grows with practice; there is no other way.
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