In Gandhi’s Footsteps

Someday I hope to read from A Gandhi Reader, hoping to imitate the great man who said, “The greatness of humanity is not in being human, but in being humane.” I am ashamed to say I see nothing in common with me and the great Hindu. Even our diets are dissimilar. For a while I ate vegetarian, but my doctors told me that I must eat meat, particularly lean beef and chicken, because if I did not get enough protein I could not live. In other words: in my bones I do not produce enough marrow. Because I don’t produce enough bone marrow, I do not produce enough red blood cells. Because of that my blood does not carry enough things like iron to my brain. I need that iron to produce things like dopamine, which creates “good feelings” in me. This also causes me to have insomnia at nights and tiredness during the day… That is part of why I have Bipolar Schizoaffective Disorder. Because of that I gave up vegetarianism…

Yet there is more to Gandhi than vegetarianism, surely. He also loved people so deeply… He was a profound people because he believed so fully in the fact that a person need not resort to warfare to defeat tyranny. Yet I have trouble believing this… when I look at Putin, for instance, I have trouble believing that anything but force matters to the cold-hearted monster. I find it hard to believe that anyone besides the average man cares about the right or wrong that felled the British empire.

Yet there is something of Gandhi–the spirit behind Martin Luther King and Mandela–that I wish I could keep. And it always seems ephemeral. Can I grasp the spirit of the man who inspired Martin Luther King to say, “the arc of history is long, but it tends towards justice.” And of course, Gandhi was devoted to Hinduism. He was not a secular apologist for Civil Liberties, but a devoutly religious man whose work on Hinduism I have only partly read. I long to reread his translation and commentary on the Bhagavad Gita. Yet somehow believing in him always eludes my abilities.

Published by hadassahalderson

I am a professional author who lives in Wichita, KS. I went to Friends University and spent one year at Claremont Graduate University. My published work includes: The Bible According to Eve I-IV and Faust in Love.

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