The Greatest Man that Ever Walked the Earth
With time the human body ages and withers away. But it’s a man’s words, thoughts and principles that could truly withstand the test of time and become immortal. Immortality doesn’t mean an eternal life. It means living in the hearts of the people whose lives you touched and inspired. Mahatma Gandhi is one such example. He not only helped India in becoming independent but he also inspired its people to realize their true potential and putting their best efforts in creating a better society.
Mahatma Gandhi became the source inspiration for many great leaders of the world. Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. followed the path of non-violence and truth to accomplish their mission of independence and civil rights for the black people. Mahatma Gandhi not only changed the Indian society but his actions and principles also changed the history of mankind.
Today’s society is in dire need of following the principles of Mahatma Gandhi. People in the society are becoming more violent. It is becoming almost impossible to have a peaceful discussion and resolve your differences. They don’t understand that no one can ever reach a solution with violence. Violence will only create new problems. But today if a person doesn’t agree with your thoughts and beliefs, he will not hear your logical arguments. He would prefer to harm you physically and not let you express your thoughts.
Nathuram Vinayak Godse was obsessed with this kind of mindset. That’s why he assassinated Mahatma Gandhi on the evening of 30th January 1948 in Delhi. He disliked Mahatma Gandhi and his philosophy of non-violence. So he chose the easy route to end the voice of Mahatma Gandhi by firing three bullets in his chest. He committed one of the greatest crimes of the century, just because he disagreed with the beliefs of Mahatma Gandhi.
Even after sixty six years of Mahatma Gandhi’s martyrdom his principles and philosophy of non-violence and truth grows stronger and spreads around the world. Mahatma Gandhi has become a global icon of peace and non-violence. Nathuram Godse tried to kill the principles and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi with his three bullets. But those three bullets only made him immortal in the hearts of people around the world.
Mahatma Gandhi believed that even the most pessimistic and stubborn person could be changed into a sensitive and caring human being. Mahatma Gandhi became the guiding light to many lost souls. He guided them on the path of righteousness. He became the father figure to many individuals. Here is one such tale of Mahatma Gandhi’s generosity and compassion that changed the life of a young man.
One night a thief entered the Sabarmati Ashram with the purpose of stealing. Some Ashram residents saw the thief and caught him stealing. Unable to decide what to do with him, they locked him in a room. In the morning, after prayer and meditation they brought the thief before Mahatma Gandhi. They informed him about the incident that took place last night. Gandhiji listened to them calmly. After they were finished telling about last night’s incident, Gandhiji asked them whether they gave the thief some breakfast or not? This question surprised them. They said in unison that this person is a thief and he should be punished. Mahatma Gandhi told them elegantly that before being a thief he is a human, just like all of us. You had your breakfast so why should he be denied of that.
Hearing these gentle words the thief started crying. No one has ever treated him with such compassion. With tears in his eyes he confessed his crimes and told them that he only came here to steal some food as he was very hungry. After this Mahatma Gandhi accepted him as his Ashram member. This incident converted the young man into a loyal and strong freedom fighter. This was the magic of Mahatma Gandhi’s words and philosophy. Our mindset and attitude can solve any problem or disagreement. We just have to keep an open mind and show some compassion.
Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings and philosophies are still as relevant today as it was in the past. We could still learn a great deal from his life and apply it in our everyday life. In today’s society, filled with hurtful comments and obscene language, this incident could give us some inspiration.
Mahatma Gandhi was traveling to England in a ship. In the morning he liked to sit on the deck, weaving yarn on his charkha and meditate. Everyday one Englishman would yell vulgar curses and obscenities at him. But Mahatma Gandhi never reacted to his offensive words. This went on for a few days. Getting no reaction from Mahatma Gandhi, at last the Englishman got frustrated.
One day he wrote those curses and obscenities on five or six pages and gave it to Mahatma Gandhi on the deck. Mahatma Gandhi glanced at the letter and with a very calm attitude removed the paperclip from those pages. He put the paperclip inside his charkha and the pages under it and started spinning his yarn, without saying a word. The vexed Englishman just stared at him in disbelief. He asked Gandhiji that why isn’t he reacting to him, after everything he had done.
Mahatma Gandhi smiled and showed him the paperclip. He told the Englishman that it was the only useful thing in those papers that he gave him. I have saved it to use it in the future. The rest of your letter was of no use to me, so why should I waste my energy reacting to it. Hearing his wise words the flabbergasted Englishman was speechless. He realized his mistake and was deeply ashamed of his behavior. That day his encounter with Mahatma Gandhi gave him a whole new perspective on life.
Mahatma Gandhi believed that no one can offend a person if he doesn’t give him the permission. We cannot control the words and behaviors of other people. So there is no use in wasting your time and energy reacting to them. You should not let other people make you angry or sad. You have the power to control your emotions. Remember, sticks and stones may break your bones but words are wind, they cannot hurt you.
Photo Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi
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