Gandhi’s talisman
October 20, 2011, 10:18 pm
Filed under: the sweet life | Tags: , ,

In giving advice about how to make a decision, Gandhi recommends assessing first how it will affect the abjectly poor.  I’m confident this is no longer taught in business schools – and never was.

But look at the results of gauging the advisability of your great works by consideration for the poorest among us:  you and your doubts will melt away.  You will become nothing and concurrently very confident!

What a strange mix:  one wouldn’t normally associate self annihilation with confidence.   Self assurance makes sense, but today’s real men (and women) must, by their decisions, become grander not diminished.

This is Gandhi speaking, not some hack self help guru.  His life was a manifestation of this strange conflation of loss of doubt and self immolation.  His extraordinary power came through ideas, non violence, and ultimately self denial.   The proof, and the object, of course, is people being set free which happened on an unimaginable scale when the British quit India in 1947.

Gandhi’s talisman:

I will give you a talisman. Recall the face of the poorest and weakest man whom you may have seen, and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him. Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny? Will it lead to swaraj [freedom] for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and yourself melting away.

M. K. Gandhi

2 Comments so far
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Good advice. Especially when you keep in mind the Inverse Care Law first proposed by Dr Julian Tudor Hart, which states that the care received by different groups within the population is inversely related to their need.

Comment by blackwatertown

Interesting. I will have to check out Hart – thanks.

Comment by Peter Rudd

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