“Enable your great dreams – become greater.” – Raj Gavurla
As an Indian American child, I heard the name Mahatma Gandhi without realizing his importance globally. Non-violence resonated with me. Think of the opposite. What’s the need? I first saw violence in sixth grade when two guys got into a fight in the school cafeteria. One threw chairs and the place cleared out with everyone in shock and not knowing how to respond. It was as if we couldn’t believe what was happening.
The next occurrence of violence occurred on a Sunday driving through downtown as a sixteen year old. As I drove by slowly, two men were fighting. A car stopped ahead of me and a mountain of a man stepped out in a three piece suite. He single handedly separated the two. They didn’t have a chance.
Then in history class my high school teacher assigned us to write a term paper. My paper was on the book, The Life of Mahatma Gandhi. A fascinating read by Louis Fischer. In 1982, I watched the movie Gandhi played in theaters throughout America. The most vivid scenes for me was a reporter on the phone relaying the story of how Gandhi was leading a non-violence movement in South Africa and then India.
Violence didn’t occur again until I visited Hollywood. As I rushed across the street to see someone pass out from seeing a movie star a car pulled up and three guys attacked another. A mob scene ensued. They were beating him and he fell to the ground. They continued to kick him! The girls with the guys tried to stop the violence. As the girls were being pushed to the ground me and a guy running from the other side of the street were about to step in to help the girls. I’m not sure what I would have done. In hindsight, I think the best thing I could have done is to yell at the top of my voice. Then, we heard a police siren and the guys doing the beating ran off.
As a motivational and inspirational speaker and author, I’ve been on the platform in front of diverse groups. Business and community groups, athletes, detainees in the mental health quad at the Greenville Detention Center, facilitate a mental health support group, and train police officers. Many of them have experienced violence either perpetrated by themself or another.
I emphasize the following:
1. Non-violence towards yourself
2. Non-violence towards another
To have a deeper appreciation of non-violence I attended a thought provoking talk at the Vedic Center of Greenville in Ahimsa Hall by Shrimiti Kamalaji (Gandhi Foundation). Ahimsa means non-violence.
1. Non-violence isn’t to be legislated
2. How to use self-discipline, aspirations, and passion for inner-peace?
My question to her was how do we create a non-military non-violence movement with the increase in violence occurring in our society in order to consistently enable individuals dreams, aspirations, and hope?
As I reflected on her answer, I think of the courage of Malala Yousafzai and her message of using books, pens, teachers, and education as a weapon. The words of Gandhi still reverberate:
“It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honoured by the humiliation of their fellow beings.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Think for a moment what would non-violence look like in your community.
1. The evening news wouldn’t open with someone being shot or a school shooting.
2. There’s no suicide.
3. What fills the void?
Consistently enable individuals dreams successfully. Create a non-violence movement in your community for tremendous value and benefits. Our future depends on it.