Gandhis Thoughts on Women and Non-Violence A Quote Relating To Power and Individual and Groups

In the book The Words of Gandhi, the author Richard Attenborough compiled the memorable sayings coming from the great man Mohamas Mahatma Gandhi. Among the numerous quotes from the book, I have chosen one excerpt on page 74. I will quote the excerpt and summarize it first. Then I will discuss the relation of the quote to our two course topics. I will start with the course topic of  Individual and Group  arguing that there is one form of individual and group in the quote . Lastly, I will argue that the course topic of  Authority and Reason  is also evident in the excerpt.

On page 74 of the book The Words of Gandhi, we read the following.
The way of peace is the way of truth. Truthfulness is even more important than peacefulness. Indeed, lying is the mother of violence. He will perceive in the course of his search that he has no need to be violent and he will further discover that so long as there is a slightest trace of violence in him, he will fail the truth he is searching.

This excerpt explains Gandhis sentiments regarding peace. Gandhi emphasizes the importance of truth in attaining peace. He claims that the most vital instrument we need to obtain peace is by truth.  Untruthfulness only bears fruit to conflict and violence. Gandhi also adds that violence will hinder mans quest for the truth. If he discovers the harm that violence spurs, he will not find any reason to be violent again since it holds him back from progressing to his journey. Hence, by being advocates of the truth, people can expect peacefulness to unfold.

There is one form of individual and group evident in this quote. The individual directly affects and influences the attainment of peace. Individuals make up a group and every undertaking of each determines the state of a community or country. We read from the excerpt that  He will perceive in the course of his search that he has no need to be violent..   This part of the quote pertains to a man, an individual. What triggers violence is conflict. Man causes conflict through his actions. Violence is commonly mans reaction to conflict. Hence, violence starts in an individual. It is also the individual who can cease violence by reflecting upon his actions.

A form of authority and reason is also at work in this quote. Truth is a concept that opens the
gateway to virtue. What is truth A lexicon defines truth as the  Truth that which is considered to be the supreme reality and to have the ultimate meaning and value of existence.   However, I argue that truth is the basis of morals-of what is right and what is wrong-that truth will indeed lead to peace. I argue that it is man has a greater inclination to the good rather than the bad. Hence, man is capable of finding peace by tuning in to what their mind says is reasonable. Authority figures such as the government, church and religions, organizations, etc. lay laws that promotes order and peace. The law has drawn the line between moral and immoral. Gandhi indicates the weight of importance of truthfulness than peacefulness. Hence, authorities support Gandhis idea by establishing laws that aims to confine man to virtue.

Violence is an act that mocks the law and through this we cannot achieve peace. Several philosophical doctrines claim that searching for the truth should be our ultimate goal. Hence, to search for truth is also to search for virtue. Socrates is a philosopher known as one of the pillars of philosophy. He believes that to achieve truth we must destroy our illusion that we perfectly know everything there is to know in this world rather we should honestly accept our ignorance. He believes that by doing such will lead us closer to acquiring true knowledge.  Socrates philosophical reasoning relates to the excerpt in question since it entails truthfulness as a means to peacefulness.  Therefore, the reason presented by Socrates also connects to the excerpt that denotes peace and truth.

In conclusion, we have observed how the excerpt from Attenboroughs book The Words of Gandhi relates to our course topics. Primarily, we presented the quotation of the excerpt and proceeded with a summary. We then moved to connect the the course topic of  Individual and Group . From the quote we  have seen that there is one individual and group at work, that every individual is an instrument of peace by refraining from doing acts of violence. Then we turned to  the next course topic of  Authority and Reason . We have seen that authority figures such as the government and church creates laws to promote peace. Peace will only be achieved if we hail truth because truth leads to virtue. Virtue makes a man retreat from indulging in violence.


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