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Recently I watched the film ‘Gandhi’, a biographical film of the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Using non-violent resistance Ghandi led the people of India to independence from British Colonial rule.

This is a beautiful film, which gives an insight into how a quiet lawyer ended up being such an inspirational and courageous leader to a whole nation. What really struck me about Gandhi was the simplicity and purity of the principles that he spoke of and lived his life by. These principles are as applicable and needed in today’s world as they were in India during Gandhi’s lifetime. They include:

  • Truth
  • Nonviolence
  • Simplicity
  • Faith

He saw prejudice and discrimination happening around him, firstly in South Africa and then in India when he returned there. He never pretended these things were not happening or buried his head in the sand. He was brave and honest as well as gentle and peaceful. He saw injustice and knew that it was wrong but he also knew that nothing is achieved by retaliating and inflicting the same on another. He knew truth wins in the end, but also that it was necessary to resist the temptation to resort to the same methods as those hurting him. He also had an amazing insight into human psychology. He knew by judging others actions was to deny the fact that we are all capable of doing bad things. Through non-violent non co-operation he shone a light upon the atrocities inflicted upon him and his people and he also described this as a way to teach his aggressors that there is a better way. He wasn’t passive or weak and never advocated that others were. He advocated that evil is always resisted, in a non-violent way. He had amazing faith that truth would win in the end, and it did.

If you haven’t seen this film, I really recommend that you do. It really made me think of the difference applying these principles would make to my own life and the world in general. Gandhi showed that through gentleness, simplicity and truth how we live and our impact on others can be transformed beyond what we might think is possible. I will leave you with some inspiration from the man himself:

“Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion.”

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”

“Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.”

“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.”

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