Ghandi and Despair

Over the past few years, I have observed wars and revolutions in places where friends and children of friends have lived and sometimes died and I begin to despair, asking, “won’t things ever change?” We human beings have an extraordinary capacity for self destruction when we use violence against each other, especially when we say that it is in the name of peace.

Then, I ran across this quote from Mohandas Gandhi, (the Mahatma):

“When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Think of it-always.”

Gandhi took the long view, for he was faced with dissension even among those with whom he struggled to achieve independence for India. And, in the end, he was assassinated by one of his fellow adherents to his faith. Yet, he saw beyond the momentary setbacks with a vision of what might be.

Another philosophical person, the late musician, Louis Armstrong commented on his own song, “What a wonderful world” when someone asked him how he could sing about a wonderful world with all the violence, racism, poverty and suffering. And, he replied that he sang about what a wonderful world it could be if we would all dedicate ourselves to that goal.

The suffering in the world will always be with us, it is part of the human condition. However, the attitude that Gandhi took and that Louis Armstrong put into song is about more than being a “Pollyanna”. It is about adopting a positive attitude concerning what can be done.

It is said that the only positive change in the world has been made by a small group of dedicated and motivated people. If we believe that truth and love will prevail, maybe it will.

Have a good Sabbath


About tpurchasesnj

I am a Presbyterian minister. I am also a former military chaplain. It has always been important to me to examine the impact that religion has on the public sector. That is the purpose of this blog; to explore the ways that religion intersects the market place.
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