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I heard Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma speak recently at Ball State. Here are some stories he shared.

Arun explained passive violence in the context of waste. On the way home from school one day, he threw away his pencil because it was getting short. When he asked his grandfather for a new one, refused to give him one but armed him with a flashlight and sent him out into the night to search for the pencil. When Arun returned Mahtma explained to him that “When the affluent waste, we do violence to the earth, because we are wasting valuable natural resources. We also commit violence against humanity, because in wasting we devalue the time and energy of the individual who created what we wasted.”

To illustrate penance Arun shared the story of a friend of his who loved sweets and refused to give them up despite orders to do so from his parents and physician. Frustrated, his parents brought him to Mahatma and entreated him to talk to the child. Gandhi didn’t speak to the child but instructed the parents bring him back in 15 days. Two weeks later, Gandhi took the child aside and spoke to him for less than a minute. The child renounced sweets from that moment on. Amazed, the parents asked Gandhi what he said. He replied, “I asked you to return after 15 days, because I gave up sweets during that time. I then told the child that I had given up sweets and would not eat them again until he stopped eating them.”

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