George C. Wallace, the United States Secretary of State when Mohandas K. Gandhi was assassinated, said that Gandhi "had become a spokesman for the conscience of all mankind- a man who made humility and simple truth more powerful than empires" (Gandhi, np). Gandhi is well known for his leadership in the liberation of India from Britain, but his main goal and message transcends beyond the acts he did, into everyday living. Gandhi promoted simple living, non-violence, and forgiveness as a way to unite all people peacefully. These principles helped him to liberate his people and to teach them a lesson that all can learn.
Much of Gandhi's philosophy is rooted in what he learned as a child. From his mother, he learned Hindu teachings. She often took him with her to care for the poor of the area and encouraged fasting as a way to achieve purity of the soul (Logue, 6). Vegetarianism and simple living were also principles first given to Gandhi by his mother and born religion, Hinduism. Gandhi's father was the town diwan - the man to settle disputes. When Gandhi was 15, he tried smoking and stole money from servants as well as jewelry from his brother. He felt guilty for doing such things, however, and wrote to his father in apology, asking for punishment. Instead of learning through punishment, Gandhi learned forgiveness from his father. When the letter was received, his father began to cry and forgave him (7). From his parents, Gandhi also received an "early grounding" in toleration for all branches of Hinduism and similar religions. His parents often took him and his siblings to different temples. Gandhi also often listened to his father discuss religion with Jain monks (Gandhi, np). The lesson Gandhi learned as a child was mirrored in his adult life, as he then learned first hand the importance of ahimsa, or Truth.
Gandhi encouraged people to live a simple life. Simple living to Gandhi meant wanting less and sharing more. The Hindu faith he grew up with called...
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