Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ghandhism - A Must Read for Parents!

Ghandhism - A Must read for parents

Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and
founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence,
in his June 9 lecture at the University of Puerto Rico,
shared the following story:

~~~~~~ ~~~~~~

I was 16 years old and living with my parents at the
institute my grandfather had founded 18 miles outside
of Durban, South Africa, in the middle of the sugar
plantations. We were deep in the country and had no
neighbors, so my two sisters and I would always look
forward to going to town to visit friends or go to the movies.

One day, my father asked me to drive him to town for an
all-day conference, and I jumped at the chance.
Since I was going to town, my mother gave me a list of
groceries she needed and, since I had all day in town,
my father asked me to take care of several pending chores,
such as getting the car serviced.

When I dropped my father off that morning, he said,
"I will meet you here at 5:00 p.m., and we will go home together."

After hurriedly completing my chores, I went straight
to the nearest movie theatre. I got so engrossed in a
John Wayne double-feature that I forgot the time.
It was 5:30 before I remembered. By the time I ran to
the garage and got the car and hurried to where my
father was waiting for me, it was almost 6:00.

He anxiously asked me, "Why were you late?" I was so
ashamed of telling him I was watching a John Wayne
western movie that I said, "The car wasn't ready,
so I had to wait," not realizing that he had already called the garage.

When he caught me in the lie, he said: "There's
something wrong in the way I brought you up that
didn't give you the confidence to tell me the truth.
In order to figure out where I went wrong with you,
I'm going to walk home 18 miles and think about it."
So, dressed in his suit and dress shoes, he began to walk
home in the dark on mostly unpaved, unlit roads.

I couldn't leave him, so for five-and-a-half hours I drove
behind him, watching my father go through this agony
for a stupid lie that I uttered. I decided then and there
that I was never going to lie again.

I often think about that episode and wonder, if he had
punished me the way we punish our children,
whether I would have learned a lesson at all.
I don't think so. I would have suffered the punishment
and gone on doing the same thing. But this single
non-violent action was so powerful that it is still as if it happened yesterday.

That is the power of non-violence.

No comments: