Ann: Mr. Gandhi, I understand from my friend and colleague Anita Sacco https://www.etsy.com/shop/FairyTaleEnd that you have a message for her that you would like me to transmit and put up on the blog.
"We are all kin to one another under the skin, ... there are no enemies unless we allow ourselves to create them..."
Gandhi: Yes, I do. I am indeed grateful to you, Ann, for your willingness to open your channel to receive the words of those of us who struggled on this earth to bring home a better way, a way where violence and envy are not the order of business, where brutality in speech and in action do not colour our view of humanity and where derogatory and demeaning speech do not teach our children that aggression is the only means of survival.
I would like to tell you a little story about my life which is probably known to many or perhaps not. My father was a stern man who expected a lot of me, and for one reason or another he could not see that I was a person worthy of respect. Early on he tried to force me into a way of life that he deemed to be in my best interests, and, while I tried my best to comply, but it was not to be. Though I hungered for recognition and accomplishment, somehow these achievements seemed beyond my reach.
Finally I surrendered to the child inside me that abhorred the treatment which I saw of those around me who were deemed inferior, feeling within myself a kinship though my travail had been nothing to what I witnessed in these tortured lives. Suddenly I saw what I was meant to see, that we are all kin to one another under the skin, that there are no enemies unless we allow ourselves to create them, and I tried with some success and many failures to recreate that conviction of reality in my own life and work.
I ask that each of you look inside your heart, your own experiences for the times when you were not treated with respect and vow to never subject any that you meet to that treatment. Yes, you may find yourselves listening to what in my day we would have called insane drivel, but such mischaracterizations of God’s creation are almost always the product of hate-filled experiences. If you can but provide a glimpse of an alternative, a listening ear, a respectful silence, and perhaps a helping hand, the course of two lives, both yours and the other, may be altered just a fraction and that is all that is required for real change to begin.
This is what I wish to transmit to Anita who sees her life moving in directions which may challenge her assumptions about what is necessary and what is not, what is deserving of her energy and what can be laid aside. Her dilemma is not unique, and so I asked that Ann transmit this reply on her blog in the hopes that it might find favor with one or more readers. I will you all Godspeed in your journeys.