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Tonight I finally watched Ghandi – a truly incredible film directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Ben Kingsley. Perhaps we all know a bit about who Ghandi was and what he did, but this movie really shed light on so much for me. A role model, he was and is for us all as human beings. Amidst a world so obsessed with tackling problems with violence, Ghandi shows us the power in nonviolence. He was able to lead a movement towards India’s independence from an oppressive British empire, with the tool of peaceful non-cooperation. And when this mission went astray, when violence did break-out, he responded by fasting. He would simply stop eating until the violence stopped.

Most crucially, Ghandi teaches us that the violence must be overcome within ourselves – in our hearts. “The Only Devils in this world are those running around inside our own hearts, and that is where all our battles should be fought.” I can only say that I must continue to reflect on those words, every day. What do those devils look like? Where do they come from? How can they be conquered?

I think the answer is love. I really do. But it isn’t easy, is it?

Ghandi reminds me that love does not sit idle. Love must not only come in the shape of praying hands. Love must move us to act. Love demands that we take action. Love is not pacifism. Love is standing for what’s right. Ghandi, and his followers, shined a light on what real love is and on the greatness it can achieve.

Just as Ghandi took a stand, so too can we. We do not have to accept the prevailing notions that war can solve the world’s problems; that violence can be justified as a means to an end – despite what our leaders (including President Obama) tell us. We have to demand better. First from ourselves, then from the world. And that includes our role in killing millions of people every year who die from poverty. Ghandi said it, “poverty is the worst form of violence.”

He challenges us to rethink everything we “know.” But he led not from a position of authority, instead from humility. He was a human being, like every one of us. Every one of us is capable of the same humanity. It begins with a radical shift in our hearts and in our minds.

I’m so thankful for this role model. I know I still have much to learn from the imprint he has left on this world.



Author: John Abdulla

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  1. I like this post a lot. I especially like how you say that “love is not pacifism.” My Professor always talks so much about this and I just urge like you, that we go out and help those suffering and stand up for what we believe in. I know too that we can do this through nonviolent acts. It just annoyed me too with how President Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize when you like at great Peace activists such as Ghandi that really deserved them and then we have President Obama who sent too many people into Afghanistan to fight and then received the Nobel Peace Prize as a form of encouragement to stop the violence. This award should only be given to those that really deserve it, who’s acts are full of love and nonviolence and there are plenty other people out there who deserved it far more then he did.

  2. I am so happy that you had a chance to see Ghandhi movie. Have you seen Romero?

    It is the 30th anniversary on March 24 of the assasination of Archbishop Oscar Romero in San Salvador. I highly recommend this movie to you and everyone who reads this comment.

  3. Also, John, have you seen the movie or DVD or video called Roses in December? Try to watch it sometime.

  4. Cassandra, I agree with you. Unfortunately, the Nobel Peace Prize doesn’t mean much anymore. It is a complete contradiction to give a peace prize to someone who employs violence. And it really has been a disappointment for me, in regards to President Obama.

    Sr. Gladys, thank you for the film recommendations! I have not seen them, but I just added them to my Netflix Queue, so I’ll definitely watch them!

  5. I think Ghandi is FUCKING BEAST he is the first version of Chuck Norris, Chuck Norris is just a bootleg version of him and more violent. And hes white not indian but WTF?!??

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