“Proving our love”–Daily Metta

August 26:

gandhi-21“Instead of talking high of love for the whole world, it is quite enough if we have the natural love that proves its existence by implementation.”

–Gandhi (Day to Day with Gandhi, vol. 6, p. 123)

Once Gandhi realized that khadi, spinning and weaving would help to uplift the classes made poor and starving through British exploitation, it became a passion for him. Everywhere he went, not content with wearing khadi and spinning himself, he exhorted everyone, whatever their station in life, to make the change for themselves. Spin, weave, certainly, but also buy the cloth and cotton especially from one’s neighbors. Give them employment, and take away the profits from those who would impoverish them for their own benefit. It was rather a sour point for him, though he transformed his anger into a powerfully charged appeal to people’s conscience to wear khadi.  Don’t talk to me about how much you love the world, Gandhi suggested, show me you do. How? By loving your neighbor. Literally–the person in your neighborhood who is not doing well. Love that person, offer them dignity. Care whether they are starving or cold. Help them to provide for themselves. The courage to love in this way is no doubt the same courage that it takes to love our neighbors far off though we may never meet them. Eventually, it can grow to embrace our “opponents” even as we resist their opposition.  Gandhi called this love “natural,” even when it reached those limits. We should let that sink in.


Experiment in Nonviolence:

Reach out to your neighbors today.