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Statue of Gandhi with cane

Seven Fundamental Teachings That Gandhi Gave Us


Beyond the commonplace sayings by Gandhi, these seven recommendations sum up what makes a valiant man.

“His pacifism, his fight for the truth and his belief in non-violence were like a lighthouse,” the writer Verónica Murguía once said about Mahatma Gandhi, “above all because we know that, in the long run, that voice was heard.”

Poured into the mold of our current reality, the recommendations by that historic figure have the peace and perseverance that we are so lacking.

And beyond the fact that Gandhi has become a meme that does the rounds on social networks with messages of out-of-context self-advancement, if we heed the words there are valuable political and spiritual possibilities. The following are some of the timely and wise pronouncements of that man of fragile appearance who was, as we know, powerful at the same time.

Nobody can hurt me without my permission.

How you feel and how you react to something is always your decision. Often pride and self-importance play an all-too powerful role in our reactions, and that is wholly to our detriment.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

It is true that to forgive we have to be better people than we usually are, but for that we have the capacity to decide to be humble instead of proud.

An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.

Very little can be achieved without taking action. However, this is very difficult when we tend to almost unconsciously resist carrying it out; and that is why we resort to the sermon (in the same way that we resort to sharing Gandhi’s phrases on social networks without ever putting them into practice).

It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.

When one begins to “mythologize” successful people, or even oneself, we run the risk of disconnecting from our human nature completely. Keeping people at unreasonable standards generates unnecessary conflicts and negativity. Each man is as human as the next man and one must always remember that when one wants to be centered and healthy.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

Persistence is the only thing we have after taking the previous phrase into account. If we all make mistakes without worrying about our status or erudition, what is left is persistence: it is what survives at the end of the day.

I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.

By strengthening social skills and trying to empathize with others it is easier to come out of the equation motivated. Being at the service of others is real leadership, taking the above mentioned into account (decide how to react, forgive, carry out, humanize and persist).

Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position.

For the living there is no rest, we never cease to flow and change our minds: and accepting that is what makes us honorable. Walt Whitman said it well: “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”

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