Thursday, March 20, 2014

Isn't Gandhi Afraid?

We started watching Gandhi today.

As students watch, they write out ideas, thoughts and questions that come to them.

One question I received today that I hadn't before (that I recall) was:

"Isn't Gandhi afraid?"

Throughout his life, Gandhi showed tremendous courage in the face of persecution - it may have been his greatest strength, although one could argue for his patience and endurance, his understanding, or any number of his other positive attributes.

It's still a good question.  Isn't he afraid?  He knew he was going to get hit in the face with a baton, yet he kept burning passes and accepted the unjust punishment of breaking an unjust law.

He walked past the racist kids on the sidewalk - kids who were ready to beat him up.  (Beat him down?)  Wasn't he afraid?

I don't know.  I imagine he had some fear.

But there's also a calm in preparedness.  When we can face our fears head on, with a clear mind, I think we're less likely to be frightened than when we're caught off guard.

Because Gandhi knew his purpose and role - because he was prepared, he was able to face his obstacles with clarity and precision.  He knew he could give into fear, but prepared himself and avoided it.

That's my take, anyway.

Thoughts?  Anyone else?

If you're in my class, write your thoughts on a scrap of paper, and discuss them with an adult.  Have the adult sign the scrap, then turn it in tomorrow.

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