“Man is a social being. Without inter-relation with society he cannot realize his oneness with the universe or suppress his egotism.” ~ Gandhi, Young India, March 21, 1929 [swap man for “a person” and he or his for “she” or “her” where you see fit.]
Much of what Gandhi said, based on his own awareness, is now being supported dramatically by science. Decades of studies show that people with vibrant social networks are significantly less likely to fall ill and recover significantly more quickly than others. I say “vibrant” because recent studies show that the quality of the relationships matters: lots of superficial acquaintances or “fan clubs” are less helpful than a reasonable number of friends whom one cares for, trusts, and serves. May we hope that science catches up before long with Gandhi’s tremendous claims here as well: they help us realize our oneness with the universe and/or suppress our egotism.
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Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide.
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