Found this wonderful email, which celebrates the father of nonviolence, in the inbox this evening. Crisp, clear water for a parched soul, this was a terrific spirit booster. The content is quite moving at times — and the notion of a birthday party for Gandhi is just too marvelous.
In any event, here is the text of the email. I share it in the hope that someone out there will accept the invite and attend the party. Details are available at The Gandhi Foundation USA. (If you are or will be in Atlanta and finid yourself at the party, please pass on my regards and regrets to the admirable Atlanta peaceniks.)
Greetings from Atlanta: City of Peace…
Gandhi’s friends are having a BIG Birthday Party for him;
137 years ago… On this (today’s) date in history, October 2, 1869, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born. He is better known as Mahatma [Great Soul] Gandhi. An Indian Spiritual/Political Leader, Humanitarian, and Philosopher… he is internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolent protest. One of his best known quotes is:
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Gandhi is also known as:
“Man of the Millennium” Years 1000-2000
“Father of the World’s Biggest Democracy”
“Creator of the Peace & Non-Violence Movement”
Gandhi, along with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and millions of others, was greatly inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s treatise “On Civil Disobedience.” Gandhi’s 1st Peace-Action was also influenced by the Women’s Suffragist Movement. The Birth of Gandhi’s Peace Movement and the celebration of its 100th Anniversary happened this year… on 9-11, 2006.
“Truth, purity, self-control, firmness, fearlessness, humility, unity, peace, and renunciation — these are the inherent qualities of a civil resister.” — Gandhi
In the well-written biography Gandhi, Great Soul, the author, John B. Severance, shows him to be of one of the most influential thinkers ever. Severance elaborates on his private struggles and public triumphs, as well as the impact he had on those who followed him, including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela.
Sir Bob Geldof, before 3 BILLION television viewers, during his July, 2005 LIVE-8 Concert proclaimed:
“Mahatma Gandhi freed a continent,
Martin Luther King freed a people,
and Nelson Mandela freed a country.
It does work. They will listen!”
— Sir Bob Geldof
No other city on Earth, when compared to Atlanta: City of Peace is so well-positioned to figuratively marry the East with the West (bringing phenomenal spiritual, mental, and social reward.) Also, imagine the economic reward and tourists’ revenue that will be generated between “Georgia: The Peace State” and “Gujarat: Gandhi’s State” when “the marriage” takes place??? Dr. King, born here in Atlanta, is Gandhi’s most globally productive peace-movement protégé. …
For those who would like to further celebrate Gandhi’s Birthday, you are invited to this event hosted by The Gandhi Foundation USA next Saturday, October 7.
Additional info on Gandhi:
Atlanta: City of Peace & globally
Interesting that Gandhi’s birthday falls on Yom Kippur, the holy Day of Atonement, this year. I’ve been nursing a lot of anger over Bush and his gang and local elections and such lately… maintaining satyagraha under constant crisis ain’t easy. Avoidance (my recent near-total focus on music) has helped some, but the anger is ever-present, as is the fear, and the resentment boiling inside me is growing exponentially. This darkness got to give.
As part of my atonement, and to celebrate Gandhi’s birthday, I acknowledge that it’s time to re-immerse myself in the teachings of nonviolence (which includes nonviolence of thought). Parts of that journey will show up here; feel free to join the ride. As always, the goal is peace. Sounds like a plan.
Happy birthday, Mahatma. I’ll do better by next year.