Sunday, May 12, 2013

Things You SHOULD Learn from M K Gandhi

I woke up today morning reading this on Quora: What are the biggest mistakes of Mahatma Gandhi?

The answer tells that the British were comfortable with Gandhi heading India, and that complete non-violence was probably a big mistake. Two things.

  1. Non-violence works in international affairs. Especially after the second world war.
    This must be self evident. Today's wars cannot be won with weapons. It is won only through diplomacy.
  2. Non-violence works even better in interpersonal affairs.
    This goes without saying. Getting angry and not cooperating with nasty people is how we've learned to do it. But that is violent. A better way to do it would be by helping the nasty earnestly, and sternly but politely making them a request to stop being nasty.
But that's not what surprised me. When someone pointed out in the comments that Gandhi had also told that non-violence is better than cowardice, the answerer said: "Well this shows that he was totally confused".

People, it's not just fine to change your convictions with time, it is sometimes necessary to do so.

That is one great lesson from Gandhi that not many have heard of or practise. He conducts experiments with his life. And he corrects himself when he's proven wrong. Like his U turn on milk, he just needs plenty of reasons.

We form most of our convictions in childhood. The same childhood when we are not even eligible to vote. And amusingly, we carry these convictions to our adult life, unquestioned. Think of it. Would it be clever to make the same choices in food, clothing, dreams, hobbies, and lifestyle as those you made when you were much younger and more stupid?


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