“Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.” That is how one of the greatest minds of all time described Mohandas K. Gandhi. That person was Albert Einstein, who was unquestionably the foremost leader in the philosophy of science.
This quote resonates deeply with me, not only because of who said it and who it is about, but more importantly that it is a case study fully documented on what all holy texts teach: love and truth always overcome hate.
We are honoring Gandhi’s 150th birthday with a march on March 30 at CSUB to celebrate non-violence. Dr. Eisha Mason will be giving a keynote address about Gandhi and his “Revolutionary, Evolutionary Love.” Nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience are core values that must be practiced, not just spoke about. That is why we want to invite anyone and everyone from the community in keeping with the spirit of Gandhi to build bridges wherever we find divides.
The terms nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience are not simply words. They go back to great minds who have contemplated, deliberated, studied, experimented and fought for the humanity of all and protected the sanctity of life. Individuals like lifelong abolitionist Henry David Thoreau, or one of the greatest writers of all time, Leo Tolstoy. All influencers of Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, Malala Yousafzai and countless others who have and are dedicated to ending human suffering. They’ve showed us that the study, practice and proper application of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience are the most powerful tools to solve conflict and create change. Reinforced through actions and examples, these leaders show us that through respect of diversity and the recognition of commonality, we can overcome any obstacle in our way.
When I look at the life of a figure like Gandhi and all the countless leaders and communities that have and are influenced by his work, I see a common theme: start where you are, use what you have and do what you can. This simple statement, in my opinion, is what Gandhi’s message is all about. I urge everyone to always be in search for the truth in all that you do, and not take lightly the profound statement from the Mahatma that “your life becomes your message.”
Please join us on March 30 to help us celebrate these principles and values that so many before us have dedicated their lives to advance throughout our global society.
I would like to end this with the same way it started, with a quote from Albert Einstein: “I believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men of our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil.”
Neeraj Rama is the chief investment and strategy officer for the Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center and on the board of the Ravi & Naina Patel Foundation.