[I consult and consider many sources in search of appropriate subject matter for this blog. Often I find material that is best left (mostly) untouched by me, e.g., today’s piece from history.com.]
January 30, 1948
This is the first half of the first paragraph published by history.com addressing the brutal and untimely death of a great man.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement, is assassinated in New Delhi by a Hindu fanatic. Born the son of an Indian official in 1869, Gandhi’s Vaishnava mother was deeply religious and early on exposed her son to Jainism, a morally rigorous Indian religion that advocated nonviolence….
For a man who chose to live simply, Gandhi left us a biography filled with complexities. As with all great personages, his life merits our attention, his cause deserves reflection. I have tried in the quotes below to honor Gandhi’s memory by trying to capture universal truths … leaving the last word to Gandhi himself.
Thomas Jefferson, “First Inaugural Address.” “Equal and exact justice to all men; of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations …”
Maimonides, The Guide for the Perplexed. “The spiritual perfection of man consists in his becoming an intelligent being—one who knows all that he is capable of learning.”
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. A Thousand Days (1965). “Above all he (John F. Kennedy) gave the world for an imperishable moment the vision of a leader who greatly understood the terror and the hope, the diversity and the possibility, of life on this planet and who made people look beyond nation and race to the future of humanity.”
James Monroe, “Annual Message to Congress.” “The Monroe Doctrine.” “… with the governments … whose independence we have … acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling, in any other manner, their destiny …”
Denis Diderot, “Essay on the Merit of Virtue.” “From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.”
Mohandas Gandhi, True Patriotism: Some Sayings of Mahatma Gandhi. “Nonviolence and truth are inseparable and presuppose one another. There is no god higher than truth.”
The illustration at the blog’s top is the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. The blogger is a Vietnam Veteran, 1966-67. He is an author and past state chaplain for a major veterans organization. He welcomes comments on posts and encourages readers to subscribe to PTSDOutreach.com; two points: 1) it is free, 2) posts appear directly in your e-mail in-box.