Rights: Daily Metta

“The true source of rights is duty.” ~ Gandhi, Mahatma, 2. 179

This concept, here stated so clearly, is one of the great insights Gandhi offered which could, if taken to heart and implemented, change the face of most progressive politics. There is a parallel to Constructive Programme: first build what you want and then, if still necessary, reject what you don’t want (weave your own cloth then boycott British ones). In other words, in Gandhi’s vision the lack of self-reliance was an illusion and the demand that others supply our needs, or rights, was almost a form of violence. Whatever we may think of this vision, it almost always proves effective strategy. After all, those who try to dominate must first convince the dominated of their helplessness and dependency. Breaking that lie is an act of power and truth.

Thanks for sharing a comment below.

About Daily Metta

Book cover imageStephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence.

Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide.

Enjoy more Daily Metta: See the  archives

Get Daily Metta by email: Subscribe