For my Son’s 10th Birthday I gifted him the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi “The Story of My Experiments With Truth”, because it is never too early to learn about the life and lessons of the Father of our nation. As childhood values go a long way!
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known to the world as Mahatma Gandhi ,was born in a small town of Porbandar (India) on 2nd October’1869. M K Gandhi was a lawyer by profession, who gave up his profession to lead the Indian struggle for independence.
Despite being the face of Indian freedom movement, Gandhiji is a figure revered by the whole world. He is so respected that his birth anniversary, 2nd October, is celebrated every year as the International day of non-violence by the United Nations.
Lovingly addressed as “Bapu” by all Indians, his teachings are timeless and relevant even in today’s time. For Indians he is the “Father of our nation”. Not only in India even globally his way of life and life lessons are something that everyone can benefit from.
Below are his most popular quotes, that can be enlightening to people from all the cultures and generations.
TRUTH IS GOD
Lying, however attractive one might find, is never the right way. Bapu was a firm believer in truth and never lied even for trivial games.
Once in School he was asked to copy a spelling from his friends for a School inspection, but he chose not to correct his spelling by cheating. Even at that small age he decided that lying is wrong as truth can have no alternative. The path to any kind of success can only be paved by truthfulness.
AN EYE FOR AN EYE LEAVES THE WHOLE WORLD BLIND
Gandhiji championed the cause of non-violence (Ahimsa). In a world that is currently engaged in violent wars on so many fronts, teachings of Bapu can help attain some much needed peace.
Gandhiji believed that if every violent action is countered with a violent reply it will result in a world severely damaged. He believed in the power of dialogue and peaceful resolution of differences. According to him the path of non-violence has been always around for centuries and can never go wrong.
The world can never find the solution to its problems through wars, which lead to more violence and hate.
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD
Everyone wants to live in a better world. We all hope and pray that the world would change and become a better place for our children, but not many of us want to be an instrument to that change.
Gandhiji always said there can be no change in the world if we are not ready to change ourselves. He firmly believed that the change starts at home and for a world less corrupt we need to embrace total integrity in ourselves. No change is too small and by and by we can change the world, taking one small step at a time.
CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS
Gandhiji was an ardent believer in this philosophy. He vigorously supported cleanliness of both the body and soul. He believed that having a clean body is as important as having a clean mind. Bapu said “When there is both inner and outer cleanliness, it approaches godliness”.
Keeping not only our own houses clean but also working towards keeping our streets and cities clean is the path to attaining godliness.
Bapu said “we must all be our own scavengers” and not rely on others to clean after us.Not only our personal cleanliness but also cleaner surroundings will help towards attaining a cleaner and healthier nation.
EDUCATION WHICH DOES NOT MOLD CHARACTER IS ABSOLUTELY WORTHLESS
While Bapu insisted on education he also said that teaching children only for the sake of literacy is worthless if it does not focus on an all-round education. He emphasized on the development of children in body, mind and spirit and not just education as a tool to earn money. He believed well rounded people can contribute to the development of a better society and stronger nation.
Children who are educated only for the sake of literacy and earning a living cannot contribute much in a nation’s development.
Gandhiji believed in the power of character not appearances. All through the freedom struggle of India he lived a frugal life style, dressed in solidarity with the poor of the nation.
He believed in accepting our flaws and turning them into strengths. He believed in the power of forgiveness and acceptance.
Bapu taught to work hard with truth and perseverance to achieve our goals as a nation and individual self. He believed in a nation based on equality, free of any disparities based on religion or caste.
These teachings are just a few drops in the ocean of knowledge, that is the exemplary life os Mahatma Gandhi.
The teachings of Mahatma Gandhi will always be enlightening for our children and all the generations to come. Children across all religions, borders, cultures should be able to benefit from this wealth of knowledge.
Whose qualities would you like your kids to emulate ?