Gandhi’s Words: Be the Change

If you read the words of Mahatma Gandhi you are, if you allow yourself to hear and digest them, moved by their spiritual accuracy and, if you listen deeper still, struck by the enormous strength it takes to live them.

When I am filled with anger at an individual, group, policy, etc., I often turn to the words of people I admire and look up to. People like Gandhi, King, Mandela, Malcolm, and others like Brother Gregory Myles or Father Mychal Judge.  And so it was that this evening I found myself reading some of  Gandhi’s words. For example,“Hate the sin, not the sinner.” Not easy, and at times it feels damn near impossible. Sometimes I am able to live that distinction straight away, other times it takes me time. While I will always work to hate the sin and not the sinner, sometimes I am successful, sometimes I am not.

This evening I ran across another thing Gandhi said that was so remarkable it sent me into a gentle place of quiet stillness. He said, “You must be the change you want in the world.” I read this several times and then the tears came because his words are as true as life itself. And, if I am to be the change I would like in the world, then I must hate the sin and not the sinner, and also forgive the sinner, and that includes those who have wounded me.

Gandhi said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”  And, when you forgive and believe you are weak because you forgive, I say, If it is an act of weakness to forgive, then why is it so hard to do?

Remember what he said, “You must be the change you want in the world.”

I think that about covers it for now.


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