His life was woven from events in which he did just that. By calling attention to the injustice of British rule over India, and through the use of non-violence, he freed the country from British control.
His principles remain here for us to use when we are willing to free our lives from unjust systems.
Non-violence and Ahimsa (complete selfless love) both begin within our minds and hearts.
Noticing injustice is the first step.
Saying “No” to injustice is the second step.
These are choices.
We can say, “No, this cannot continue. I will not participate in this hurtful manner anymore. There is a way to work together that supports the right of liberty for all beings. I am going to pursue this path. Can we work together to bring freedom and love into this situation?”
Or we can remain silent. We can look the other way, ignoring injustice and hoping someone else will take care of the situation. With this choice we abdicate our power.
On the other hand if we act out in anger over this unfairness, we will add more fury to the fire that is already burning and hurting.
“An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” will not bring forth harmony and peace, but will create more wounding and aggression.
Which will we do? Say “No” and find that which unites, or react in old ways that cause more hurt and injury?
What I have found more helpful is to go to my journal and my meditation cushion when I sense unfairness.
Before I attempt to help someone else, I need to discover my own motives.
Remember how Jesus said we need to remove the log from our own eye before we attempt to take the splinter out of the other’s eye? Matt. 7:3
What has triggered me? And why? What is my motive? What do I want and what need does this fulfill?
The rational mind does not have the true answers to these questions. But it thinks it does—and will give quick opinions right out of the top of the head.
So I discard the first two or three answers as they don’t represent what is really going on. They are just beliefs.
Instead help arises by going deeper than the thinking, rational mind.
Things are not what they appear.
As we slow down and take time to calm and quiet the mind, we begin to notice what is taking place in the body, in the heart. We notice our emotions. We simply pay attention, breathing with awareness.
We begin to see in the dark.
What is behind this anger? What fear lurks here? What belief or opinion? We patiently wait for answers.
Gandhi kept an anger book to investigate the causes of his anger.
He used anger as a wake-up call showing him where his unjust beliefs were.
As humans we all have them!
We can benefit from a journal. Through dialogue with the anger or the fear, or who we think is causing it, the unjust systems begin to appear, as well as solutions.
As Einstein profoundly stated, “A problem can’t be solved at the level at which it was created.”
Through these reflections we discover our view—how we are seeing.
We can’t resolve the situation until we find out what is motivating us and how we see the issue. Opinions are never the truth. They are simply one small view of things.
Things are not what they appear! We must go deeper than appearances and beliefs.
When we stop and investigate the emotions and feelings that arise when we feel anger—without acting it out—true change can take place.
Is this anger ego driven? What do we want? What are we defending?
Are we wanting someone else to solve our problems, to make life easier for us, or give us something that we are not willing to give to ourselves?
In other words, are we trying to get rather than give? This is an autocratic, totally unjust system.
Are we masking aggression with righteous indignation?
All these questions are worthy of investigating honestly and mercifully.
We are merciful when we don’t make someone wrong.
We are merciful when we say “No” to injustice.
So, I look for the place where my special interests lie—where I think I should be treated differently than others. Entitlement is an unjust system.
Let me see injustice and take time to act on the guidance that is revealed in the stillness of the heart.