“…[P]eople will never be able to live in peace with each other in towns and palaces. They will then have no recourse but to resort to both violence and untruth. We can realize truth and nonviolence only in the simplicity of village life. ~ Gandhi, Letter to Nehru, October, 1945, in Bhoodan, March 26, 1960
This is one of his strongest statements on the role of villages, for which viable neighborhoods (apartment houses) might be a Western equivalent, if they were to function like villages. It does underscore the challenge we face in rebuilding a life of material simplicity and rich, close relationships; which, if Gandhi is right, is pretty much a necessity if we are to avoid “violence and untruth.” There must be a modern equivalent, and I don’t think social media does it; but it’s open to each of us to work out his or her own formula: how to live in accordance with Martin Luther King’s admonition that we must “rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented civilization to a person-oriented civilization.”
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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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