Self-sufficiency: Daily Metta

“We do not want to universalize the Charkha through mass production in one place.” ~ Gandhi, Harijan, October 20, 1946

The spinning wheel, Gandhi was firm, should not become a centralized product that makes spinners dependent on someone far away to manufacture or fix them. They should be built in the villages directly, and every spinner should learn how to repair the wheel with ease. I own one of these spinning wheels, a book charkha, that Gandhi actually invented, and it is a clever little machine. Compact to carry on oneself anywhere, the size of a book, and with all of the tools one needs for spinning, plying and making a skein, the finished product. For Gandhi, freedom and self reliance went hand in hand. We should aim for the same vision with all new technologies we choose if we want to empower ourselves along the same lines—can they be fixed easily or do they require experts? Can they be manufactured locally or does it require centralization? As our dependency on technology grows, self-sufficiency in regard to it is one of the greatest challenges of our day in many ways.

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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.

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