Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 and Gandhi

Gandhi once said; "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind," and "You can't shake hands with a clenched fist."

Not many are aware that while for all American people September 11, 2001, is
a black day of mourning and hopelessness, for some it is a day of hope and
harmony. It was on September 11,1906, that my grandfather, Mohandas K.
Gandhi, launched the first major, public nonviolent campaign against race prejudice in South Africa thereby demonstrating to the world that nonviolent resolution of most conflicts is possible. He later elevated his philosophy to a higher level and called it Satyagraha - pursuit of Truth - because he believed human beings needed to be awareof the many forms of violence that we practice knowingly and unknowingly. I propose that as a nation we resolve to observe September 11, 2006, and every September 11 thereafter, as a Day of Prayer for Peace and Harmony. A day when we can all pledge first to create peace, harmony and respect at home and then pledge to work for peace, harmony and respect in our societies and eventually in the world? Gandhi's vision of nonviolence was not a pipe-dream. He demonstrated that we can practice it effectively if we “become the change we wish to see in the world.” Written by his grandson; ARUN GANDHI Founder/President, M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence

Some other quotes by Gandhi: "It may be long before the law of love will be recognised in international affairs. The machineries of government stand between and hide the hearts of one people from those of another. Jesus Christ, Daniel and Socrates represented the purest form of passive resistance or soul force. Peace will not come out of a clash of arms but out of justice lived and done by unarmed nations in the face of odds. The very word Islam means peace, which is nonviolence. Without prayer there is no inward peace. My attempt and my prayer are and will be for an honourable peace between the belligerent nations is the least possible time. Prayer is the only means of bringing about orderliness and peace and repose in our daily acts. Salvation of the Gita is perfect peace. Violence is bound sooner or later to exhaust itself but peace cannot issue out of such exhaustion. The man of prayer will be at peace with himself and with the whole world. Not to believe in the possibility of permanent peace is to disbelieve in the Godliness of human nature. The one condition for fighting for peace and liberty is to acquire self-restraint. "

Instead of asking "What would Jesus do?," Susan Price writing for the Democrat and Chronicle asks “What Would Ghandi Do” . Democracy Now has an article with an interview of the Grandson of Ghandi on the “Gandhi Launches Modern Non-Violent Resistance Movement on Sept. 11, 1906”, that includes the details around the launch. At Hope for Terror they offer the Satyahgraha of Gandhi to be used today by explaining it, showing how it has been used, and what it means for all people, From the Metta Center for Non Violence. They also give a definition of Satyahgraha Satyagraha (pronounced sat-YAH-graha) literally means ‘clinging to truth,’ and that was exactly how Gandhi understood it: clinging to the truth that we are all one under the skin, that there is no such thing as a ‘win/lose’ confrontation because all our important interests are really the same, that consciously or not every single person wants unity and peace with every other.


"When I despair, I remember that all through historythe ways of truth and love have always won.There have been tyrants, and murderers,and for a time they can seem invincible,but in the end they always fall.Think of it - always." a prayer by mahatma gandhi from World Prayers.

New Blaze has an article about Groups Across US Transform September 11th Into A Day of Hope and Healing by showing the movie Gandhi. The Peace alliance is spearheading the campaign. Alas there is not a showing in Alabama. But you other states and places can also checkout where it is being shown. Maybe I need to rent Gandhi from Netflix and see it again.

In 1930 he was named Time person of the Year.

15 comments:

Sally said...

Thank you for this Abi, it is both thought provoking and challenging- we have so much to learn from listening to one another, and yet it is all too easy to forget that.

Sally said...

Thank you for this Abi, it is both thought provoking and challenging- we have so much to learn from listening to one another, and yet it is all too easy to forget that.

revabi said...

Sally, I am so glad I could write this post. I had a quote of Gandhi somewhere and had planned to post it earlier, then in doing research on him, I found the importance of 9/11 in his life as well. Suddenly it was as if something opened up inside of me, and I had to know more. I have discovered I am an hour away from where one of the nonviolent centers is, and I think I will try to go to one of their workshops. I really think he has something to teach us about dealing with the Islamic beliefs and those who follow its teachings, even those who go to the extreme.

Sally said...

"I really think he has something to teach us about dealing with the Islamic beliefs and those who follow its teachings, even those who go to the extreme."


me too
many blessings
Sally

Sally said...

"I really think he has something to teach us about dealing with the Islamic beliefs and those who follow its teachings, even those who go to the extreme."


me too
many blessings
Sally

Free Flying Spirit said...

This is just what we need to hear and work for...it's walking into the light, rather than backwards to the cave.

It certainly unsettles the conventional thinking of our time. There's a lot of work ahead..beginning with ourselves.

Ghandi is a hero of mine.

Free Flying Spirit

Free Flying Spirit said...

I just wanted to follow your discussion a bit more...

I believe there's a difference between Islam and Islamism.

The extremists belong to Islamism. It's important to remember this distinction.

Education, along with our faithfulness in living in peaceful ways, is the lasting way to effect change.

Starting with us, then out to the world. Each person alive is created and loved by God. I remind myself that it is only an accident of birth I was born on this side of the ocean.

We can embrace those who are different from us.

I believe there is more than one path to our loving Creator. I may not understand, but that is alright. God does.

Free Flying Spirit

revabi said...

Free Flying Spirit Thank you for your clarifying the difference, and for your further thoughts.

Swandive said...

I just watched Ghandi for the first time, like a month ago. Timeless and amazing. Thanks for the points and links, and for the reminder of what 9/11 can be. Bless you.

Reverend Dona Quixote said...

Hey Abi ...

I didn't post a comment before when I read this blog because I followed your links ... and then promptly included some of the content in one of my churches' newsletter. You inspired me, and I would be negligent if I didn't say "thank you."

Free Flying Spirit said...

I just learned the difference myself, Abi, and it is helpful.

We are having our 1st International Day of Peace in my city. Tonight there will be a silent meditative walk from a park to city hall...not far.

I sent emails to many folks near and far to support us with their prayers and meditations as we walk. Anyone could do the same thing too.

This was created by groups interested in peace here and in the world and are of all Faiths.

We are tired of wars and violence and we need to start somewhere...now!

Please hold us in prayer and meditation this night.

Peace is not just the absence of war, there's much more to it than that. It begins inside ourselves.

Thank you!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Remember!!!!!
There's supposed to be a Blogger black out at 4 p.m. PST today....it was on my blog last night.

Free Flying Spirit said...

Our walk for Peace is now completed, but with only about 50 people. Not very many places do this, or much else about this special day and it's time to promote peace in active ways for all to see. People get interested in things they hear about. There was a children's contest...everyone won the same prize...and my what posters from some younger members of society...a treat to see this. But no boys did any. I wasn't sure why that was.


I believe they may have not advertised the walk soon enough, but also it was the annual "Take Back the Night" walk for women and children...boys only to age 9, I think..can't find it and no men allowed.

I do wonder about that because it is good for some men to see men supporting women in this. I realize there are women who are so against men they would see this as suspect.

Perhaps it might be a stronger thing if men actually organized a walk for men only..to walk for safe streets for all of us at night. They aren't always safe either.

By the way, any church, or community can organize for the peace walk. It's The annual International Day Of Peace...September 21st, as you said Abi passed by the UN.

I am surprised we are just starting now. Has anyone else done anything???

revabi said...

Swandive,
Glad you got to watch it for the first time, I need to see it again.
And thanks for commenting on my blog.

revabi said...

reverend Dona, So glad I could be helpful in doing your newsletter. I am struggling with what to write for mine this week.

Glad you were inspired. And you are welcome, and thanks for commenting.

revabi said...

Freeflying spirit, I am impressed that you all actually did something toward this day.

We are totally ignoring this day, the need for peace.

I did prayer for your event, and thanks for letting us know how your event went. And what you said is true, peace is not the absence of war, there is so much more to it.

I'd love to see your posters. Ibet they are great. Kids are the ones that want the peace. We have become hardened as adults. Sorry it was a competing night. Perhaps this is something we can recommend to the revgalblogpals to remember or to post something about for next year.