Gandhi: Living a civilized life

Sixty-five years ago in 1948, Mohandas Karamchad Gandhi, know as the Mahatma, the Great-Souled, was assassinated in India.

When he visited England, he was asked by a reporter,  “Mr. Gandhi, what do you think of Western civilization?”

Gandhi replied: “I think it would be a good idea!”

Graffiti on a NYC wall (scanned from a post card)

Graffiti on a NYC wall (scanned from a post card)

Faced with what many identify as the superior Western Civilization, Gandhi saw that this claim is baseless. The imperialism of the West, most often seen in economic and military terms, is really a question of spirituality.

At one point Gandhi identified what I would call the seven capital social sins:

Wealth without Work
Pleasure without Conscience
Science without Humanity
Knowledge without Character
Politics without Principle
Commerce without Morality
Worship without Sacrifice

If we use these “sins” as part of an individual and community examination of conscience I think we’d be on the road to living the civilization of love that Christ preached. As the late Pope John Paul II said, “Only a humanity in which there reigns the ‘civilization of love’ will be able to enjoy authentic and lasting peace.””

Again Gandhi offers us a challenge on how we can be better followers of Christ. Will we listen to his voice?

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