143 years ago today, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known to the world as Mahatma Gandhi, was born in the British Indian Empire. I could spend this time talking about his extraordinary life, but that would take too much time. Instead I would rather talk about what he was known for, which was his dedication to nonviolent action.
Gandhi was one of the world’s best known pacifists and was unfortunately killed by an assassin’s bullet in 1948. His legacy lives on, though. He was someone who lived standing up for what he believed in and died standing up for what he believed in. He was unwavering in his desire for peace and justice (or at least that is how the legend goes).
“Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.”
In 2007, the General Assembly at United Nations passed a resolution to use what would have been Gandhi’s birthday, October 2, to spread Gandhi’s message of nonviolence.
Somehow when I see all the terrible things going on in this world, I don’t think that message is getting through…
The White House, the Military, and the media try to sell us on the virtue of war. The United States, for instance, just has to swoop in and save the day in every corner of the world, waging illegal (and immoral) wars and supposedly dropping bombs on military targets. I say “supposedly” because the majority of the time these targets have nothing to do with a foreign country’s military.
The majority of people hurt and killed are innocent civilians who have nothing to do with government conflicts. And many of those innocent victims are children.
The Military and the media do their best to either deny that civilians are killed or make us believe that loss of innocent lives are to be expected during a conflict. It’s what they like to call “collateral damage.” That term, to me, dehumanizes victims.
Better them than us, right? They (or their culture) attacked us, so we MUST retaliate. It is the only way to achieve justice in this world. An eye for an eye as the good book says…
An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
Instead of focusing on retaliation, we should be striving toward making peace with our enemies. We never bother talking to them and making compromises. We just indiscriminately throw bombs down on poor villages, killing everyone but intended targets.
What good does that do?
I’d love to see world peace for one whole day. Just 24 hours of people putting down their swords, their guns, their nukes. It is never going to happen, but it is nice to think about, isn’t it?
Surely we human beings have to realize that all the violence, all the wars, are not doing anything but destroying people and property. It’s not solving any problems. What good is retaliation when it does not end conflicts, but only causes more?
The media has been busy for years trying to sell us on a possible war with Iran. And now they are adding Syria to the mix by showing gruesome images of dead and mangled bodies strewn all over the ground.
I am already against the next war. I am insulted that the government thinks I (or anyone else) am stupid enough to believe that another war is justified. It isn’t.
World peace is possible, but we have to start using our brains instead of our guns to get it.
- Can we Become the Change We Wish To See In The World? Arun Gandhi’s thoughts on his grandfather’s 143rd birthday (tinaquizon.wordpress.com)
- Mahatma Gandhi – The Father of the Nation (datadiary2012.wordpress.com)
- Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated on the every day every year as the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, Father of India. (opensourceenterprise.wordpress.com)
- Spectacles stolen from Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Anna Hazare’s village (ndtv.com)