Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday on 2nd October is not only a national holiday celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti in India, it is also commemorated as the International Day of Non-violence by the United Nations General Assembly. The lifetime of the father of our nation or ‘Bapu’ as we call him was full of valuable lessons and insights. Let’s see what we can learn from him:
1. Actions speak more than words: Gandhiji impressed people by diligently acting on his beliefs and even people who didn’t agree with him admired this quality of his.
2. Perseverance: Gandhiji struggled for many years towards India’s independence. He did not give up even during times when things seemed impossible. You all know the results.
3. Continuous Improvement: Bapu was not only involved with improving the status of women, Harijans, small-scale industries; he also believed in continuously improving himself and once quoted “learn as if you were to live forever”.
4. Don’t stress yourself too much: Bapu avoided stress even in the direst of situations. You can see so many pictures of the Indian struggle where he is smiling.
5. Simplicity: He lived a modest lifestyle, wore simple clothes, ate simple food and his long fasts were both a form of social protest as well as self-purification. Amidst all this simplicity, he created waves that moved thousands of people.
6. Lead by example: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. A major reason for his immense popularity and support for his non-violence approach was because he followed what he preached.
7. Don’t let others change your path: Amidst so many voices stating that his methods won’t work, Bapu stood with his beliefs and didn’t let the critics change any of it.
8. Forgiveness: Forgiveness is better than hatred. And it takes a great deal of strength for the same. As Gandhiji noted ” The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
9. Think positive: Gandhiji believed “A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes“. Enough said.
10. Don’t give up: Things cannot be achieved within a day. Sometimes it takes the time to see results. Don’t let this wait de-motivate you as Bapu once said: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”