Friday 23 January 2015

Be the Change: Personal and Social

'Be the Change You Want to See in the World'

This quote has been attributed to Gandhi and in essence what he believed, however as Brian Morton of the New York Times (2011) points out, there is 'no reliable documentary evidence' that he said it, whereas the following is verifiable:

'If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.
... We need not wait to see what others do.' 

Plaque outside Gandhi's house in Mumbai, India 2011

As Morton contends, Gandhi is saying 'that personal and social transformation go hand in hand, but there is no suggestion in his words that personal transformation is enough.' 

I visited his home in Mumbai and was easily able to imagine, amongst the few possessions he owned and the simple life he led, why he believed in satyagraha - holding with the truth, a way of life to be developed, habits to be adapted, practises to be changed and virtues to be cultivated (as Joseph Geraci, from the Satyagraha Foundation for Nonviolence Studies, would put it)

Morton, N. (2011) 'Falser Words Were Never Spoken', New York Times, August 29, 2011

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