“There’s enough for everybody’s need and not for anybody’s greed.” These famous words are quoted by India’s great moral leader, Mahatma Gandhi. Affectionately called Bapu, Gandhi was just another simple Indian. An ordinary man with an extraordinary will to live his life by the principles of truth, nonviolence, courage and determination. He was not only an inspiration then but continues to be an inspiration for millions of people even today. He is a true role model since he was himself an ideal example for everything he spoke and taught.
Through this blog post, I’ll take you through 3 short inspiring stories that serve as a moral to us and truly explain why Gandhi was a human par excellence.
1st story: Breaking the sugar habit.
Somewhere during the 1930s, there was a boy who was obsessed with eating sugar. Worried, his mother approached Gandhi for help. Now Gandhi was a man who gave only that advice which he himself followed. Gandhi told them to come after 2 weeks. The mother and son left a little puzzled and wondered why Gandhi did not give any solution. They returned promptly 2 weeks later to get some life-changing wise words. This time Gandhi sat down with the boy and said, “Boy, you should stop eating too much sugar. It is not good for your health.” He further started him to explain the risk of consuming too much sugar, and suggested him to take other sugar substitutes such as jaggery. The boy nodded with understanding and pledged to control his sugar intake. The mother however was very curious to know why Gandhi did not give this advice 2 weeks earlier. Gandhi gently replied- “I could have told this to you on the first day itself but instead told you to wait because for the last 14 days, I needed to get rid of my habit of eating more sugar. Once I cut back my obsession with sugar, I told you to do the same.“
“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”
Now isn’t this a remarkable short story? Gandhi first implemented the solution himself and then imparted his knowledge to the boy. He was such a fantastic man because he cared for even such small problems. We too can learn from Gandhi to give only those advises which we follow ourselves.
2nd story: The conventional dhoti
Gandhi was invited for tea with Queen Mary and King George V at Buckingham Palace during a visit to London. He accepted the invitation and reached the Queen’s palace, wearing his customary short dhoti- a loincloth loosely draped over his torso and homemade sandals. The administrative people of the palace objected to his dress but surprisingly the Queen did not make any objection. When she saw Mahatma Gandhi, she spontaneously replied “Now I understand why millions of Indians follow you“. After the meeting was over, Gandhi was questioned by a journalist if he was wearing enough; to which Gandhi replied- “But the King was wearing enough for the both of us.”
My life is my message.
Yes, he must have been the oddest looking man in the meeting, but his attire soon became a powerful political gesture through which he was urging his countrymen to restore pride in their traditional culture. Gandhi had long discarded stitched clothes for the loincloth (dhoti) and shawls he spun himself. He had taken up spinning to inspire fellow Indians to boycott British goods and buy local produce, which included homespun cotton.
3rd story: The precious Copper coin
Mahatma Gandhi went to various villages and cities to collect funds for the Charkha Sangh. During one of his tours he organized a meeting in Orissa, requesting people to donate funds for the Sangh. After his speech an old woman, bent with age, white-grey hair and badly torn clothes tried to reach the stage. The volunteers tried to stop her, but she insisted and fought her way to the place where Gandhiji was sitting. She touched his feet and took out a copper coin from the folds of her sari. Gandhi carefully picked up the coin and put it away. He refused to give it for the funds. The in-charge of the Sangh laughingly said- “I keep cheques worth thousands of rupees for the Charkha Sangh, yet you won’t trust me with a copper coin.” Gandhi then replied- “If a man has several lakhs and he gives away a thousand or two, it doesn’t mean much. But this coin was perhaps all that the poor woman possessed. She gave me everything she had.” That is why Gandhi regarded the copper coin as very precious.
Action expresses priorities.
Every person has something to offer- care, love, compassion, smile, or simply help another person. Look inside yourself and figure out what makes you worthwhile.
How Gandhi still inspires us?
Through these 3 stories Gandhi inspires us to change the way we live- lovingly, honestly and peacefully. If you follow the values connoted in the above stories, you can actually become a much different and respected person. There’s just so much to learn from Gandhi. Imagine if we could live in a world that Gandhi always dreamt of – a world of non-violence with peaceful environment everywhere!
I believe the main reason of violence today everywhere is because of intolerance and hatred which can be only solved or reduced by pacifism. Yes, I believe Gandhi’s idea of nonviolence is a good point to start from; maybe not initially but very soon this idea will be embraced worldwide.
Do you think non-violence is the ultimate solution to most of the problems and conflicts in the world? How relevant are Gandhian philosophies and ideologies in today’s world? Please share your opinions in the comments. Come back soon to read my next article or subscribe to get it delivered directly in your inbox. Bookmark this page to save time in searching again. Have a nice day ahead.