My SCRAPBOOK (సేకరణలు): A COLLECTION of articles in English and Telugu(తెలుగు), from various sources, on varied subjects. I do not claim credit for any of the contents of these postings as my own.A student's declaration made at the end of his answer paper, holds good to the articles here too:"I hereby declare that the answers written above are true to the best of my friend's knowledge and I claim no responsibility whatsoever of the correctness of the answers."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The power of non-violence

Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and founder of
the M.K.Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, in his June 9 lecture at the
University of Puerto Rico, shared the following story:
I was 16 years old and living with my parents at the
institute my grandfather had founded 18 miles outside of
Durban, South Africa, in the middle of the sugar plantations.
We were deep in the country and had no neighbors, so my
two sisters and I would always look forward to going to town
to visit friends or go to the movies.
One day, my father asked me to drive him to town for an
all-day conference, and I jumped at the chance. Since I was
going to town, my mother gave me a list of groceries she
needed and, since I had all day in town, my father asked me
to take care of several pending chores, such as getting the
car serviced.
When I dropped my father off that morning, he said, "I will
meet you here at 5:00 p.m., and we will go home together."
After hurriedly completing my chores, I went straight to
the nearest movie theatre. I got so engrossed in a John
Wayne double-feature that I forgot the time. It was 5:30
before I remembered. By the time I ran to the garage and
got the car and hurried to where my father was waiting for
me, it was almost 6:00.

He anxiously asked me, "Why were you late?"

I was so ashamed of telling him I was watching a John Wayne
western movie that I said, "The car wasn't ready, so I had
to wait," not realizing that he had already called the

When he caught me in the lie, he said: "There's something
wrong in the way I brought you up that didn't give you
the confidence to tell me the truth. In order to figure out
where I went wrong with you, I'm going to walk home 18 miles
and think about it."

So, dressed in his suit and dress shoes, he began to walk
home in the dark on mostly unpaved, unlit roads.

I couldn't leave him, so for five-and-a-half hours I drove
behind him, watching my father go through this agony for a
stupid lie that I uttered. I decided then and there that I
was never going to lie again. I often think about that
episode and wonder, if he had punished me the way we punish
our children, whether I would have learned a lesson at all.
I don't think so. I would have suffered the punishment and
gone on doing the same thing. But this single non-violent
action was so powerful that it is still as if it happened
yesterday. That is the power of non-violence.



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