Sunday, August 28, 2011
Thoughts from Gandhi
I had no idea how incredible visiting Gandhi's house of 20 years in Ahmedebad would be. I read a biography by Gandhi many years ago and was inspired by the words I read. I read them from the cozy comforts of my bedroom and until I actually visited India did I truly understand so much of what he struggled for, sacrificed, and accomplished. He was destined to live a successful and wealthy life and yet he chose to fight for justice in India. He gave up everything and in turn changed the world.
My favorite part of visiting his house was not seeing the original artifacts that he owned or even the walking cane that he walked with. No, it was sitting on the ground and spinning cotton. Many pictures were captured of Gandhi sitting in the same exact spot that I sat, doing the same exact thing that I did. I sat there and had a patient man teach me how to slowly spin the wheel and yet concentrate on your other hand while you slowly pull the cotton onto the wheel. Gandhi would do this to take his mind off of everything else going on in the world and to remind himself of what so many people in this world do by spinning cotton.
I found myself completely engrossed in what my hand was doing. I wasn't thinking about the friends I had sitting in front of me snapping many photos or any stresses I had. No. I was simply focusing on one task only: spinning. I love that I sat in the same spot he did and did the same thing he did. One of my favorite quotes that I later read in the Gandhi museum we visited was this: "I am mostly busy making sandals these days. I have already made about 15 pairs. When you need new ones now, please send me the measurements. And when you do so, mark the places where the strap is to be fixed-- that is on the outer side of the big toe and the little one."