Meeting the messenger of peace

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“We have to live what we want others to learn,” were words spoken by social activist Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi’s message is still alive in Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi, who visited Central Oregon Community College on Feb. 20.

Ruthie Johnson
The Broadside

Gandhi is a man who leads by example. This was made clear when he illustrated his message of forgiveness with the story of how he paid visits to Nathuram Godse, the man who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi; Gandhi said he was able to forgive the man who killed his role model.

“We’ve got to remove the labels and look at each other as human beings,” Gandhi told his audience at COCC. He spoke of learning to control anger and practice peace, even through the most difficult situations.

Arun Gandhi shares stories of time well spent with his grandfather to a packed house in Wille Hall Feb. 20 at COCC.

Gandhi recommended a few methods of dealing with anger, including meditating on calm feelings and chanting. He said it is important to keep a journal of emotions, and write in it with the intent of finding solutions to problems.In the spirit of the Season of Nonviolence, Gandhi spoke of the different forms of violence. It’s not just physical, he said. Passive violence, according to Gandhi, is ill will towards another person, which does not cause immediate harm.
“Passive violence is the fuel to physical violence,” said Gandhi.
The presentation was a moving and eye opening experience. I left feeling conscious of my own emotions, my attitude towards other people and the way my actions impact the lives of others. The most profound parts of the presentation were Gandhi’s parting words.
“Nonviolence is not a strategy,” said Gandhi. “it is not a weapon, it is not something you can use when it’s convenient and discard when it’s not. It is a way of life.”

(Contact: rjohnson@cocc.edu)

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