Today marks the 151st anniversary of Gandhi’s birth (Oct. 2, 1869) — and a crisis in American and world democracy such as I, for one, never dreamed I would witness in my by-now long lifetime. For some time now, it has seemed that these two forces, the downward drive into chaos and violence and the uplifting surge of nonviolence in practice and understanding, have been growing towards some sort of climax.
What we have to do is very clear, in a way even inspiring: venerate the Mahatma’s legacy more than ever by rededicating ourselves to the hallowed path of personal empowerment > constructive program > (and if still necessary) nonviolent resistance. More and more people are becoming aware that something’s seriously wrong and are looking around, pretty urgently, for a way out. Well, did not the Civil Rights movement label nonviolence, drawing on an old spiritual, “the way out of no way”?
Gandhi didn’t want October 2nd to be called his birthday, but rather “charkha jayanti,” the birthday of the spinning wheel, the sun that stood with pride and hope at the center of the “solar system” of constructive programme. At Metta, as many of you know, we have thought long and deep about what the ‘charkha’ or central act every nonviolence actor could do today. Our conclusion: uplift the human image at the center of the “new story:” that inspiring model of the universe and human nature to which our Third Harmony Project now is dedicated.
Great to be with you on this priceless path.