This is the first post in a new category: inspirational figures. In my opinion, reading the ideas of the great in history and of our times is a great way of self-improvement and inspiration. In this category I will discuss some of the ideas that I picked up of these great. I will not write long biographies, there are plenty of books and sites around to read these, this category is meant more as an extension of both, my journal and my thoughts that pop up after reading about these people or their works.

I had the immense pleasure to watch the movie Gandhi last week. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was again swept away with the beauty of the movie and more importantly the incredible life and achievements of this very important 20th century spiritual leader.

And whilst the movie swept me away I realized what an incredible man this Gandhi was and how we could use someone like that in our current days and times.

Some inspirational Quotes

“Non violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by ingenuity of man”

Is that not something we should all realize ourselves in these times of terror, war on terror, rising rates of violent crime. Gandhi realized and  lived this notion. He understood the power of turning your other cheek as promoted in the bible. Isn’t there not something very disarming in just refusing to use violence?

And here is one that could make so many people live more fulfilled lives if they understood this:

“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment”

The idea should be familiar for those that have indulged themselves in the world of self help and life coaching: enjoy the process.

“It does not require money to be neat, clean and dignified.”

Often so misunderstood.

From the movie itself the following quote:

I am a Hindu, a Muslim and a Christian and a Jew and so are all of you. When you wave those flags and shout , you send fear into the hearts of your brothers…. Stop it, for God sake stop it”

There have been many that have discussed the idea of tolerance but seldom in such strong and simple words. With this one sentence all that needs to be said is said. Look around and see what is going on, how intolerance has made us fight each other and forget that ultimately we are all one and the same, children under God, whatever name we want to give that God.

So who are we actually fighting: ourselves.

There are simply no winners in war. If we could all embrace this notion of Gandhi, which in other words  can be found in the words of for instance the Dalai Lama, and embrace at the same time the idea of non-violence, would the world not be a different place?

“I want to change their minds, not kill them for weaknesses we all possess.”

His greatest weapon probably was living a life of peace and love and leading others in doing so.

“For this cause I am prepared to die. There is no cause for which I am prepared to kill”

Seeing the movie it is almost unimaginable to believe that such an incredible man could actually exist. A man that made us look at ourselves and ask difficult questions. Perhaps it is time we start reliving his ideas again. The world could certainly use such an approach.

“Love is the strongest force the world possesses and yet it is the humblest imaginable”

In the words of George C. Marshall:

“Gandhi has become the spokesman of a conscience of all mankind. He was a man that made humility and truth more powerful than empires.”

To close off and get you to think some additional inspirational quotes:

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from indomitable will”

“A nation that is capable of limitless sacrifice is capable of rising to limitless hights”

“Where there is love there is life”

“They may torture my body, break my bones, even kill me. Then they will have my dead body, not my obedience”

“Cowards can never be moral”

“I believe that non-cooperation with evil is a duty” ” Non-cooperation is a protest against an unwitting and unwilling participation in evil”

Previously posted at The Renaissance Man
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