Gandhi has the truth of it. The Christ portrayed in the Gospels is full of love and grace. He is compassion and mercy incarnate.
There is little, if any, commonality with the sometimes rabid evangelicals claiming to follow Him and speak in His name. Ugly Evangelicals is a generalization, yet it has become far too accurate in describing so many who profess to be disciples of Jesus.
It is sad when Christians give Christ a bad name. But, isn’t that where we have now arrived?
If we are ever to achieve true global community we must all stand up and make our voices heard. Silence in the face of intolerance is not acceptable. It is complicity.
Intolerance comes from fear and insecurity. Love is about openness and acceptance. I choose love. I choose openness. I choose acceptance.
What about you?
Responding to violence with violence adds fuel to the flames and keeps the fire burning hotter. Revenge is satisfying, but as Gandhi wrote, “An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.”
My first thought when I saw these two quotes was that children are the great imitators. They learn by watching.
My second thought was the quote, “Actions speak louder than words.” We live in a society saturated with violence, both real and artificially created for our entertainment. Our children are not just exposed to this violence, they are submerged in it.
We glorify power and vengeance and then act surprised when our children imitate our values. Maybe when we come to the place where we stop giving lip service to the idea of peace and actually become peacemakers we will have children that live peaceably, as well.
Until then we need to accept the fact that our children are learning by watching us. We are the ones teaching our children that violence is not only acceptable but a good and natural way to live.
Being a target for speaking an unpleasant or disturbing truth is one of those things that never changes. Too few in our society have the courage to speak the truth when that truth goes against popular sentiment.
All of us can learn from Gandhi. The truth is still the truth, even when it’s unpopular or even ridiculed. And no one ever needs to apologize for speaking the truth in love.
If a person works only for himself he can perhaps be a famous scholar, a great wise man, a distinguished poet, but never a complete, genuinely great man. History calls those the greatest…who ennobled themselves by working for the universal. Experience praises as the most happy the one who makes most people happy. — Karl Marx
Man becomes great exactly in the degree to which he works for the welfare of his fellow men. — Mahatma Gandhi
Continuing the theme I began in yesterday’s post, I share these quotes from two powerful personalities, both of whom surprisingly share the same view on the subject. As different as these men were, both changed history, and both came to a common understanding that happiness and greatness cannot be separated.
True greatness comes from seeking the good of the other. One is “ennobled” according to Marx by focusing on the universal good.
As radically diverse as these two figures were, both understood that creating good for those around us, creating happiness in our larger community, is the true path to personal fulfillment.
Someone wrapped up in him or herself makes a terribly small package. At least that’s how the old saw goes.
Both Marx and Gandhi agree. Fulfillment, greatness and happiness all come from focusing on the welfare of those around us.
And in a world where 25,000 of our human family will die today from hunger, we all have abundant opportunities to achieve all three.
Several people have recently congratulated me on my work anniversary with Stop Hunger Now. I officially founded Stop Hunger Now on January 1, 1998, 17 years ago. Before that I was co-founder and co-director of the the Society of Saint Andrew for 18 years. That’s 35 years of walking along side the poor and hungry, trying my best to end the scourge of global hunger. A lot of folks have asked me why.
Those questions remind me of Gandhi’s response when asked about of his involvement in politics.
If I seem to take part in politics, it is only because politics encircle us today like the coil of a snake from which one cannot get out, no matter how much one tries. I wish therefore to wrestle with the snake.
Hunger is biggest, scariest snake in the world. It’s the most obscene and most unnecessary evil of our age. Most of us try to ignore it, flee from it, or throw money at it…hoping it will just go away. What is actually needed is for us to destroy the snake once and for all. I, for one, will continue to wrestle with the snake.