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Last night I went and heard Arun Gandhi speak at Ball State. At age twelve Arun’s parents sent him to live with his grandfather, the great Mahatma. In his lecture entitled, “Lessons from Grandfather,” he spoke about dealing with anger, healthy relationships, the roots of violence and non-violence.

He said that we should try to understand our anger, and then we should that energy for something positive. He encouraged the audience to keep an “Anger Journal,” to write down every time we feel angry. The purpose of this discipline is not to reflect upon our anger and, rather than letting it incite more anger, find a solution to the problem.

He put forward four principles of relationships: Respect, Acceptance, Understanding and Appreciation. We should make these four principles our modus operandi in relationships.

He asserted that there are two types of violence: Physical and Passive. We all commit passive violence, often without knowing it. This passive violence fuels physical violence.

Finally, he spoke on the principle of non-violence. Recounting childhood experiences with his father and grandfather, he advocated that we should seek justice through penance, not punishment. Penance involves sacrifice on behalf of the victim to illustrate the injustice and inhumanity committed against them.

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