Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (; 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India's independence from British Rule, and in turn inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahātmā (Sanskrit: "great-souled", "venerable"), first applied to him in 1914 in South Africa, is now used throughout the world.Born and raised in a Hindu family in coastal Gujarat, western India, Gandhi was trained in law at the Inner Temple, London, and called to the bar at age 22 in June 1891. After two uncertain years in India, where he was unable to start a successful law practice, he moved to South Africa in 1893 to represent an Indian merchant in a lawsuit. He went on to stay for 21 years. It was in South Africa that Gandhi raised a family, and first employed nonviolent resistance in a campaign for civil rights. In 1915, aged 45, he returned to India. He set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination. Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women's rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, and above all for achieving Swaraj or self-rule.The same year Gandhi adopted the Indian loincloth, or short dhoti and, in the winter, a shawl, both woven with yarn hand-spun on a traditional Indian spinning wheel, or charkha, as a mark of identification with India's rural poor. Thereafter, he lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community, ate simple vegetarian food, and undertook long fasts as a means of self-purification and political protest. Bringing anti-colonial nationalism to the common Indians, Gandhi led them in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km (250 mi) Dandi Salt March in 1930, and later in calling for the British to Quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned for many years, upon many occasions, in both South Africa and India.
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Life is governed by a multitude of forces. It would be smooth sailing if one could determine the course of one's actions only by one general principle whose application at a given moment was too obvious to need even a moment's reflection. But I cannot recall a single act which could be so easily determined.
I am still looking for the modern equivalent of those Quakers who ran successful businesses, made money because they offered honest products and treated their people decently, worked hard, spent honestly, saved honestly, gave honest value for money, put back more than they took out, and told no lies. This business creed, sadly, seems long forgotten.
I gathered my shoes and wallet on the other side of the metal detector and took a last glance at my father, who was still there, still waving.That mangled finger had always been a symbol of his shortcomings and deformities to me, but now I saw it was also a testament to all that he'd sacrificed for our family.He'd lost that trigger finger building the business that had fed and clothed me. I imagined he was not only waving me goodbye but waving me forward with that symbol of his own woundedness.
This is what the world honors: wealth, eminence, long life, a good name. This is what the world finds happiness in: a life of ease, rich food, fine clothes, beautiful sights, sweet sounds. People who can't get these things fret a great deal and are afraid, wear themselves out rushing around on business, spend night and day scheming and scrutinizing. Man lives his life in company with worry, and if he lives a long time, then he has spent that much time worrying. This is a callous way to treat the body.
The meeting of a customer and a clerk across the service counter in a store is as significant as two leaders of nations meeting over a conference table in search of peace. If peace and understanding is possible, it must occur in the moment that is present. It can occur only when relationship is real and unconditional. Relationship begins with thoughtless awareness, an openness that sees and hears with humility, and a consideration that has already forgiven all things that the mind might present as a barrier to unity.