"He didn't like that," Gandhi said, pointing out that Mahatma is Sanskrit for "saint"—"He would say, 'I'm not a saint; I'm a normal person.' But the people of India decided that one, and he couldn't live it down."
Twelve is a tough age, and many a struggling preteen has been shipped off to relatives to help him adjust to this whirling ball of woe we call a world.
In Arun’s case, two things made his relocation unusual. First, the relative he was sent to live with was in India, thousands of miles from his home in South Africa.
And second, the relative was his grandfather, Mohandas K. Gandhi.
“We faced the brunt of prejudice and hate,” said Arun Gandhi, in Chicago to help plan the next Parliament of the World’s Religions, to be held in October 2015 in Utah. “Being a young man, I didn’t know how to deal with it. I was very angry and wanted eye-for-eye justice. My parents decided it was time to go to India and give me an opportunity to live with my grandfather.”
He lived with the world-famous pacifist for more than a year, until late 1947.
“He taught me some lessons in that period, and in many ways laid the foundation for my life,” Gandhi said.
What sort of lessons?
“The first lesson he taught me was understanding anger, to channel it constructively. He didn’t deny anger, didn’t say anger was bad and suppress it. He said, ‘Anger is good.’ Anger is to the human being what oil is to the automobile. If we don’t put fuel into an automobile, it won’t run. If we don’t have anger, we won’t do anything. Anger is good, but what is bad is the way we abuse anger.”
I had never heard it put that way....
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