“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” It’s a famous quote uttered by Mohandas Gandhi that is known worldwide. During his lifetime, Gandhi spoke of peace that changed the world, and his grandson, Arun Gandhi, continues carrying on the message.
On Nov. 15 in the Fort Hays State University Beach/Schmidt auditorium, Arun Gandhi spoke of his grandfather with a topic titled “Lessons Learned from My Grandfather: Non-Violence in the World.”
Gandhi was born in South Africa and is the 5th grandson of Mohandas Gandhi. Due to the discriminatory laws of South Africa, Arun Gandhi was punished physically by black and white South Africans for not fitting into either of their social norms because of his skin color. Gandhi’s grandfather taught him that in order to understand non-violence, he first had to understand violence.
“My grandfather realized there was an escalation of violence,” Gandhi said. “He came to the conclusion that the world was dominated by violence. The only way to save humanity is to change a culture of violence to non-violence.”
Gandhi spoke of how anger influences everyone, even in the smallest of ways. It was one of the many lessons that he learned while living with his grandfather for 18 months in his youth.
Mohandas Gandhi lived during 1869 to 1948 in India during the Indian independence movement. He practiced non-violent civil disobedience. Gandhi organized world-wide campaigns to eliminate poverty, encourage women’s rights and increase self-reliance. Mohandas Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948, but his principles, practices and beliefs still live on.
Arun Gandhi has travelled the world, giving speeches to the Young President’s Organization in Mexico and the Trade Union Leaders’ meeting that takes place in Milan, Italy, among others. Gandhi also travels to other colleges around the United States such as Baker University, North Dakota State University and the University of San Diego.
“We need to have control over our minds so we don’t flare up and abuse our anger,” Gandhi said. He compared the human mind to a computer.
“We fill our minds with knowledge, but if we don’t process that knowledge, then we crash,” Gandhi said.
Ultimately, Gandhi concluded with simple but provoking thoughts before concluding his speech.
“Life is about making something of it and that we contribute something positive to society before we leave,” Gandhi said. “Unless we change, we will not be able to change the world.”