Thursday, April 26, 2012

A hunger strike

A hunger strike catches attention. Lately, I haven’t read or heard of someone choosing not to eat for a cause. People starve without a cause. The word hunger reminds me of the word longing. A friend of mine loves to say “it’s all about the longing”.

Gandhi’s ideas no longer matter. His words to explain “non-violence”, his wisdom grounded in God, lack the pragmatic possibility and besides, we just don’t have the time to read him. How relevant can he be in light of the nature(s) of his homeland today? It hasn’t gone well for most people in the region. Pakistan and India aim nuclear weapons.

Gandhi’s ideas matter for one person, I think. The individual longing for wisdom. While the American counter-culture intellectuals tried to package Gandhi and take his ideas to the streets, their efforts faded into the cardboard boxes we see at yard sales: vinyl vestiges mixed with faded concert T-shirts. The Civil Rights Movement historians often cite Gandhi as an influence. Gandhi? Who?

Gandhi’s ideas, grounded in his personal wisdom of God, just don’t fit today in a world of collective consciousness enhanced and sustained with modern communications. Thinking Arab Spring? How’s that going? Considering occupying Wall Street again now that the weather’s nicer?

I think we’re looking to new forms of wisdom from new notables for guidance: Oprah, Steve Jobs, Kate Middleton, Rachel Maddow, Rush Limbaugh, George Clooney. You have you’re A-List. I’m not being cynical. We’re hungry. Forget wisdom. Maybe we can get there in time. We’ll settle for sense.

I like Gandhi’s idea that encourages me to get my mind “right”; right as in balance. For a moment there, I almost wrote “…encourages us”, but I remembered that Gandhi spoke to one person. Gandhi believed that balance was something he had to work upon daily. He saw people like threads in a loom that never ceased moving; a fabric always unfinished……………..

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