I’ve started on reading the words of Gandhi, and I’m amazed at how similar his views are with mine. For example, love. We both agree that love is a force that binds all souls together, just as physical forces bind all matter together. Neither of us can prove love exists in anyone’s heart but our own, but an honest person must admit that he or she does know what love is.
Right away, we see that love requires an element of truth: for a love story to be real, it must involve truth for one and all. Any lies will serve only to destroy that love. A lie requires either living a second life trying to cover up the lie or dealing with revelation and betrayal: neither way is good for the heart, but the second way is better than the first. Therefore, to truly know love, abandon lies, including lies we tell ourselves to justify our sins.
And what are sins? Gandhi had this list that summed them up well:
Wealth without work
Enjoyment without conscience,
Knowledge without character,
Business without morality,
Science without humanity,
Religion without sacrifice
Politics without principle
Rather than list them off, one by one, as in the Law of Moses, Gandhi provides a catalog that requires one to look deep into one’s life and examine it. Find these things that are without and change them so that they are with what they should be with. The solution is within us all, when we are ready to experience it.
I should say that writing things like this is effective, even if all they do is reinforce the wisdom and truth others have communicated to me. If I can repeat over and over again the encouragement to be loving, honest, and faithful, I can strengthen those characteristics in me. If others read this and begin to see a positive change in their lives, then so much the better. I invite anyone else reading this to join me in teaching others this message.
When we remove the sins from our lives, our love becomes more perfect and more pure. Along with our increased honesty, we become more able to experience faith on behalf of those we love. They say things, and love tells us that they are true without any other available proof. I cannot prove that my wife loves me, but I know that she does. Together, we have faith in each other. During our hard times, we rely on that faith to keep our love whole.
Love cannot exist where there is violence, and violence is more than physical or verbal abuse. Violence can be the expectation of an immediate change. Love is not immediate change. True love is as patient as the river, as steady as the wind, and as long-suffering as the rain. When we want to see a change in those we love, we need to be as the river, the wind, or the rain, and also be ready to forgive the one we love so we, too, should be forgiven: the one we love is also wanting to see us leave behind our faults and for that, we need forgiveness. The tools of change are prayer and fasting and soft words. With anything stronger, love departs and anger makes itself present. Anger can cause immediate change, but those changes are lasting only if they’ve broken something. And who would want to be a cause of a broken heart?
So this is why I choose to fast and pray and use soft words. If the change I desire to see does not happen right away, that is natural and I need to be as the river, the wind, and the rain: never failing, always there.