Can we Become the Change We Wish To See In The World? Arun Gandhi’s thoughts on his grandfather’s 143rd birthday

Posted on October 1, 2012


  • Article, TV Shows and photo by Tina Quizon

    As we all approach the United Nations International Day of Nonviolence 2012, we received a message from Arun Gandhi the #5 grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, and in our reflecting of asking we share our thoughts of – how far have we come as a community and global society? What are our daily interactions with one another, is it of respect for the person or persons, understanding, compassion?

    This year marks the occasion of the 143rd birthday of Mahatma Gandhi on 2nd of October 2012, which has been declared the United Nations Day of Nonviolence marking Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, Arun Gandhi brings us this short message to reflect on his grandfathers legacy and the work we all still have to do:

    “On the 143rd birth anniversary of my grandfather I am reminded of a poignant statement he made to a journalist who asked: What do you think will happen with your philosophy after you die? With sadness in his voice he said: “The people will follow me in life, worship me in death but not make my cause their cause.” How right he was!

    We have either rejected the philosophy of nonviolence as impractical or we have reduced it to a weapon of convenience and misused it. The philosophy is about personal transformation changing greed, anger, frustration and other negative attitudes into love, respect, compassion, understanding and acceptance. We have the capacity to act either way but we chose to suppress the positive and display the negative in order to project ourselves as powerful. What we forget is that the greatest power in the world is LOVE. It is also the basis of all civilization. Can we Become the Change We Wish To See In The World?” By Arun Gandhi 2012

    “We are materially wealthy, but morally bankrupt” quote by Arun Gandhi photo taken by Tina Quizon in Waikiki 2011

    Arun also shared these thoughts in previous message for the recognition of an International Day of Peace:

    “I believe we must now move beyond symbolism to doing something constructive and meaningful if we really want to build peace in the world. Peace is not the absence of war or violence. Peace means replacing the present culture of violence with a culture of nonviolence. It means understanding what nonviolence is: briefly, nonviolence is allowing compassion, love, respect, understanding and appreciation to guide human behaviour; it means building better relationships between individuals and nations that are not based on greed and self-interest but on love and understanding.

    Most of all we need to understand that the security and stability of any nation in the world is dependent on the security and stability of the whole world. No nation can live in isolation nor be the most powerful in the world. Peace can flourish only when compassion and humility guide humankind in every aspect of human life. If we are not willing to make this qualitative change in our lives then we can go on celebrating one day of peace and 364 days of violence and war.” By Arun Gandhi

    Help celebrate on Oct 2, 2012 Dr. Raj Kumar, the Founder and President of the Gandhi International Institute for Peace, is organizing the 7th annual event to raise awareness towards nonviolence and peace in Hawaii. In a Celebration of International Day of Nonviolence in Honolulu, Dr Kumar has invited the entire community to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 143rd birthday and International Day of Nonviolence on October 2, 2012 from 5:00 p.m. to 6: 30 p.m. at the Gandhi statue outside the Honolulu Zoo in Waikiki.