October 2, 2013
Mahatma Gandhi is no doubt, one of the greatest souls ever walked on this planet earth. He is rightly called the father of the nation. Gandhi touched the lives of the people, worked towards the transformation of the society and organized the masses to march towards the freedom struggle. The name Gandhi- was a word that inspired the multitudes then and inspires us today.
I would now, share with you 8 qualities that I admire in Gandhi.
Honesty: Gandhi, as a child, during the time of inspection in the school, when his teacher helped him to copy the answers, proved his mettle by plainly rejecting the offer. This little incident tells us that, even at the early age, external image or opinion didn’t matter him much. He did have a strong value system and inbuilt convictions in him.
Constructive use of anger: We are all aware, how young Gandhi was humiliated in a train in South Africa, by whites. It’s quite natural that Gandhi felt angry and humiliated. But what I admire in him is the constructive use of that anger. The humiliating experience helped him to work systematically, against the societal injustice and oppression. Gandhi channelized his anger to work towards a noble cause of liberating the humanity. Isn’t this a beautiful way of expressing one’s emotion?
Undying spirit: Once convinced and determined about something, Gandhi would not look back. He was also able to take the crowds with him and enthuse them to work towards the goal. Rain or sunshine, joys or struggles, in prison or out in the field, Gandhi reciprocated the undying spirit, within and around him.
Tremendous visionary: If Gandhi succeeded in getting the people to fight against the mighty army of Englishmen,, it’s because he could give them a vision of a free nation, free India. For Gandhi, his vision (liberating the nation from the clutches of Englishmen), was crystal clear. With this noble vision in him, he put his whole self into achieving it. And we today live his vision in our lives.
Human with frailties: Gandhi did have his own struggles as a person. He knew that he was a fragile human. Amidst the active and vibrant life outside, he also learnt to face his inner life. Thus today it is not only what he did for India inspires us rather, Gandhi as a person inspires us.
Innovative and creative: His methods were different. When the world thought of peace and liberty, possible only through violence, Gandhi introduced non violent Satyagraha. What the bloody bullets couldn’t achieve, the nonviolent means of Gandhi did. We have also heard enough a few months ago about his celibacy experiments. These and several other incidents tell us one truth that Gandhi was innovative and creative in his life.
Selfless: Going through the life of Gandhi, I feel more and more convinced that he was not a self centered person. Even when the whole nation was rejoicing, at the independence,, he spent time in a far way place alone. The praise, the slogans, the honour, did not matter him much. He was clear about his way and his goals.
Gandhi was spiritual: Gandhi dealt with the outer world with his rich inner resources. He took time to be with himself and to deeply reflect on matters. He was interested in other religious teachings too. History tells us that, before he undertook any major project or decision, he would spend days together in prayer and fasting to make sure that he had achieved purity of intention and there was no selfish motive or personal interest in it. Gandhi, after an event would sit and take a critical look at the actions and things. His deep relation with the divine flew into action. Thus he could keep striving, without attaching himself to reward or result.
On the eve of Independence, saluting the flag on the Red Fort, Jawaharlal Nehru recalled the dream of Gandhi, ‘....to wipe every tear from every eye....and as long as there are tears, our work will not be over.
As we remember this noble soul, we are invited to continue the work towards forming a humane and a just society. Let Gandhi – the man of the millennium, inspire us.
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