March 1, 2013
Arun Gandhi brings lessons in peace from his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi, to Pacific University.Jenni Luckett | Editor
Arun lives in the United States now, and he says it is a culture driven by violence, from our language and entertainment to our relationships with each other and with other parts of the world.
“It is like a cancer eating away at the humanity in us,” he said.
It is imperative, he said, to understand interdependence in our world — not only how our direct actions affect those around us, but we indirectly impact the world. Overconsumption, for example, is violence both against our environment and natural resources and against people elsewhere who have less because we have more.
“We are not here by accident,” he said. “We are here to fulfill a purpose, and we will know that purpose when we are at peace with creation.”
Not everyone, Arun said, will achieve the level of non-violence or the level of influence as his grandfather. But everyone can take steps in making the world a more peaceful place by starting within themselves.
“We can’t build peace if there is no peace within ourselves,” he said. “My grandfather used to tell us, ‘Every morning, tell yourself you are going to be a better human being than you were yesterday.’
“That is what all great people did. They are not born special; they made themselves special by rising above.”
The Pacific University Center for Peace & Spirituality sponsored the visit from Arun Gandhi.