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Thoreau: The Way We Were. Gandhi: Empowers Who You Become

Jul 15, 2008
American antiques reflective thinking has not always been at the forefront of the American experience. An occasional Thoreau at his pond or in discourse with his dear friend Emerson, while the rapidly expanding America flexes and expands outward, always west. Except this time the naturally westernward forward momentum of America had it's proud soldiers in Mexico City. And Henry David was not prepared to pay any taxes to support this. In fact he felt this so firmly that he told the tax constable he was prepared to go to jail to prove this moral point.

Moral human dignity and respect for the person requires that it should apply that each man has a right to his own life where ever he is. And that applied to any citizen of Mexico City as well as any citizen of anywhere. And so it was this mind set of right and wrong to the individual that would hold sway in the mind of a small man in robes half a world away to create what is now the largest democracy on earth. Gandhi, the Mahatma of deep wise soul followed the path of Walden Pond to free his people a century later.

Gandhi urged his followers and beyond the people of India, and began by his own example to defy British rule in passive ways. By refusing to pay salt tax, urging patient non violence and passive resistance. Gandhi's famous salt Treck to the sea to process sea salt rather than buy English salt and pay the tax, would allow soldiers to beat them, jail, mock them. Gandhi would frighten the authorities when he would begin one of his many hunger fasts, which he would do with increasing effect, to the fear and loathing from the British and their Indian proxies to rule and order.

And to add to this rebuke to tradition and authority and rule as it had always been, the word play between Franklin Roosevelt and Winstonn Churchill would always end up including a gentle rebuke from Franklin about what was this war all about if not freeing people to make their own mistakes without outside interference. Winston would hunker down and mutter about the exceptional input of British democratic Magna Carta effects. And yet now two Americans were involved behind the scenes in enabling India to free itself.

By 1947 Britain held its closing cermonies on the old British Empire as India and Pakistan were granted status as new nations independent of Britain. This pattern flowed through the empire and by the 1960's the British Empire had become The Commonwealth of Nations, and all would join in harmony, but separate. And what Gandhi did was to follow the leader in ways that held the high moral ground to all which power eventually flows. Gandhi's ways and the Nehru jacket came to personify gentle harmony in a troubled world.

You can do this too. Transform your thoughts, check your attitude at the door, find ways to gentle up and work your way through the hard realities that stare us each in the face that they almost wear you down. You need not give in to the overwhelming realities of life, but rather find your ways through each maze. Each days new impossible issues must be dealt with: the death of a child or loved one, a foreclosure or the fear of financial ruin hounds us all like those dreaded hounds from Baskerville. We can overcome: we must.

Your and our personal destiny requires we rise to meet each challenge no matter how it terrifies us. Our unborn grandchildren need this from us. It is in us and how we each reach our final destination is up to us. It is not written.
About the Author
Derek Dashwood enjoys noticing positive ways we progress, the combining of science into the humanities to measure politics, wise use and mis use of power and protective love at
American Antiques
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