Thursday, February 26, 2009

Arun Gandhi talks about lessons his grandfather taught him

I've had the privilege of having briefly met and traveled in India with Arun and Sunanda Gandhi, in 1997. This was during a time when I was intent on learning all I could about Gandhi, and how he managed to pull off such great social movement without firing guns.

Since then, I have studied the underlying approach to nonviolent solutions, and more importantly, have been experimenting with these approaches in my organizational work, working with a wide spectrum of organizations in turnaround, or navigating through change.

It works! I have been consistently amazed at how the simple act of "walking the high road" brings out the best in everyone, and the amazing results that can come with this approach.

My support of candidate Obama was primarily driven by my instinct about his ability to walk this high road. This is what will make all the bi-partisan rhetoric real, in a practical way that serves all.

This is a video of an inspriring talk that Arun made in 2008, while addressing a conference of educators here in San Francisco. Through telling stories of his life in India with his Grandfather (he was sent as a 12 year old with an "anger problem" to go live with his Grandfather for a year), he shines light on the essential under-pinnings of his grandfather's philosopy..... namely, the importance of self-transformation, selflessness, and how to channel the power of anger into constructive responses to difficult situations.

Nonviolence is not the path of the weak. It takes great personal courage and fortitude to Walk the Talk. Here, Arun shows us how.

"Be the change you want to see in the world" (Mahatma Gandhi)

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