Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fwd: FW: The Power of Nonviolence

Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and founder of the M.K. 

Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, in his June 9 lecture at the University of
Puerto Rico, shared the following story as an example of nonviolence in

"I was 16 years old and living with my parents at the institute my
grandfather had founded 18 miles outside of Durban, South Africa, in
the middle of the sugar plantations. We were deep in the country and had no
neighbors, so my two sisters and I would always look forward to going
to town to visit friends or go to the movies. One day, my father asked me
to drive him to town for an all-day conference, and I jumped at the

"Since I was going to town, my mother gave me a list of groceries she
needed and, since I had all day in town, my father ask me to take care of
several pending chores, such as getting the car serviced. When I dropped my
father off that morning, he said, "I will meet you here at 5:00 p.m., and we will go home together."

"After hurriedly completing my chores, I went straight to the nearest
movie theatre. I got so engrossed in a John Wayne double-feature that I
forgot the time. It was 5:30 before I remembered. By the time I ran to the garage and got the car and hurried to where my father was waiting for me, it was almost 6:00.

"He anxiously asked me, 'Why were you late?" I was so ashamed of
telling him I was watching a John Wayne western movie that I said, 'The car wasn't ready, so I had to wait," not realizing that he had already called the

"When he caught me in the lie, he said: "There's something wrong in the
way I brought you up that didn't give you the confidence to tell me the
truth. In order to figure out where I went wrong with you, I'm going to walk
home 18 miles and think about it."

"So, dressed in his suit and dress shoes, he began to walk home in the
dark on mostly unpaved, unlit roads. I couldn't leave him, so for
five-and-a-half hours I drove behind him, watching my father go through this agony for a stupid lie that I uttered. I decided then and there that I was never
going to lie again.

"I often think about that episode and wonder, if he had punished me the
way we punish our children, whether I would have learned a lesson at all. I
don't think so. I would have suffered the punishment and gone on doing
the same thing. But this single nonviolent action was so powerful that it
is still as if it happened yesterday. That is the power of nonviolence."

By Dr. Arun Gandhi

[forwarded from an email]

Monday, July 29, 2013

Give something... words of encouragement

There may be some people who, for one reason or another, have no room in their hearts to enjoy the beauty of flowers. They come home from work, complain about their day, and go to sleep. We can try to help them change their mindset by drawing their attention to the beauty of flowers or a work of art. That often is enough to get them to open their hearts and minds to all sorts of new possibilities.