I’ve never read a biography about Mahatma Gandhi, nor any of his many published works, so I’m hoping that the above quote is really accredited to him. Wrongful attribution is a problem these days, as evidenced by this message we often see on bumper stickers and gift shop coffee mugs:
Be the change you want to see in the world.
That expression, usually associated with the great man, is probably a paraphrase of words paraphrased in an interview with Gandhi’s son years ago.*
I digress though. The reason I was thinking of Gandhi today was that I had a menial job to do – taking the kitchen scraps out to the compost bin. From what I’ve heard about Gandhi, he willingly did everyday domestic activities as well as achieving the big, “be the change” kinds of things for which he is famous.
Gandhi lived in community, believed in simplicity of lifestyle, didn’t spend money unnecessarily, and even wove the cloth for his own attire. He did karma yoga for sure – the yoga of action.
I find that when noble people stay in touch with their grass-roots they are at their most inspiring.
As long as I’m the humble keeper of the compost, I reckon I’ll always be right in touch with reality, and in probably in good company.
*If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature so does the attitude of the world change toward him. We need not wait to see what others will do.