quinta-feira, 21 de junho de 2007

Reading Gandhi

We are often thoughtless and therefore like only to read books or, worse still, to talk...
M. K. Gandhi, quoted in The Essential Gandhi, Louis Fischer Ed., NY 1983, pg. 238

I like Gandhi. In fact, I revere him. He was, in my opinion, one of the greatest men in history, and I wish there were more like him. The Palestinian/Israeli problem can only be solved by walking the path of non-violence in the steps of a leader who is as determined about it as Gandhi.
A Gandhi would fast for peace in Palestine. He would fast until all involved got rid of their weapons, forgot the hurt in themselves and their loved ones, and ceased to perceive and treat their neighbours as their foes.
Gandhi's non-violent means didn't mean passivity. He was in fact a preacher and practicioner of non-violent civil disobedience, which is probably the solution for my own country.

Real Swaraj [Self-Rule] will come not by the acquisition of authority by a few but by the acquisition of the capacity by all to resist authority when abused.
Ibid, pg. 176
Non-cooperation is a protest against an unwitting and unwilling participation in evil.
Ibid, pg. 145
Fasting cannot be undertaken against an opponent.(...) Fasting can be resorted to only against a lover, not to extort rights but to reform him...
Ibid, pg. 182
Man does not live by bread alone. Many prefer self-respect to food.
Ibid, pg. 172

I believe what one likes in a book is the echo of one's own feelings, and what one learns is the awakening of one's consciousness to issues which resound in one's brain and body. I've read books to stop myself from thinking, but the books I cherish are those which make me think - like this one.

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