Remembering Mohandas Gandhi

January 30, 1948 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement, is assassinated in New Delhi.

In an effort to end India’s religious strife, he resorted to fasts and visits to the troubled areas. He was on one such vigil in New Delhi when Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist who objected to Gandhi’s tolerance for the Muslims, fatally shot him. Known as Mahatma, or “the great soul,” during his lifetime, Gandhi’s persuasive methods of civil disobedience influenced leaders of civil rights movements around the world, especially Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States.

Read the whole thing here: This day in history: 1948

Over the past few years the life and words of Gandhi have had a profound effect on me. I absolutely love the movie with Ben Kingsley. For followers of Christ, Gandhi’s words should strike a strong similarity to those of Jesus. If we say that we follow the Prince of Peace, why do we speak of “Just War”? Why do we still stand as advocates for violence to fix the ills of the world? What happened to following the example of Jesus in everything?

Here’s some quotes from Gandhi that really speak on this issue:

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it–always.

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?

Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

You must be the change you want to see in the world.

As I’m sitting here pondering the life of Gandhi, I’m watching the “U2: Live in Mexico City” dvd. Three songs are almost consecutive in their set: “Pride (In the Name of Love)” about Martin Luther King, Jr, “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Please” about the violence in Northern Ireland. These songs and Bono’s personal work, and the work of Mlk, Gandhi and so many others, drive home the need to seek avenues other than violence and that we should strongly encourage it as Christ-followers.

The world hungers and cries out for Peace in every aspect of life. Parents and children, husband and wife, neighbors and communities, and most especially nations. What are we doing? Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He is our Savior. Do we believe these things? Seriously? Is this just a social club for us? Is it a hobby we spend a few hours each week playing with? Have we ceased to harm others even with our words? Any contact we have with another person, do they see Jesus Christ or a church-goer?

You Christians look after a document containing enough dynamite to blow all civilization to pieces, turn the world upside down, and bring peace to a battle-torn planet. But you treat it as though it is nothing more than a piece of good literature.

If you’ve never seen the movie “Gandhi” I highly recommend it. It shows what is possible with peaceful resistance. I believe it is a great example for Christ-followers who seek to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ.

Soles4Souls 50,000 Pair Challenge

The 50,000 Pairs in 50 Days Challenge

Here’s an opportunity to give 2 pairs of shoes by donating only $5. Skip a coffee or 2 and you can make a big difference in 2 different peoples lives. Please take just a few minutes to read the press release and donate $5. It’s incredibly easy with just a few clicks but does a whole lot of good.

The 50,000 Pairs in 50 Days ChallengeNashville, TN — November 7, 2008 — Soles4Souls, the international charity dedicated to providing free footwear to those in desperate need, has announced plans to launch a new fundraising website, www.50000shoes.com. The charity is challenging bloggers and social media users to raise funds for 50,000 pairs of new shoes in 50 days.

Through the new world of blogging, emailing, twittering, and through many other forms of online media, the non-profit hopes to achieve not only the fundraising goal, but also to spread their mission far and wide. The Soles4Souls www.50000shoes.com charity challenge will be live on Monday, November 10, 2008 and end on Wednesday, December 31, 2008.

“We have been utilizing the basic Web-based marketing tools such as e-mail blasts, social networking and YouTube videos. However, this website, www.50000shoes.com, is the natural evolution of our viral marketing plan,” said Soles4Souls Founder and CEO, Wayne Elsey.

“A strong grass-roots effort, combined with an effective web-based social marketing platform, will allow Soles4Souls to form online community in a creative manner while being effective with raising funds and helping those in need,” he said.

Both the tech savvy and the computer challenged can visit www.50000shoes.com to download their choice of four (4) Soles4Souls banners ad and blog widgets. Using the tools provided, users will be able to easily email, blog, or twitter the challenge to friends, family and co-workers as well as ask everyone to continue spreading the message.

“This is a huge challenge to meet a huge need. We want to virally attack the issues of poverty and make it simple for the end user to play a role in it,” Elsey stated.

Donating is easy and takes just a click and a couple of minutes. It requires no shipping, no wrapping and no trips to the post office. The monetary donation is small with $5.00 buying two pairs of new shoes. Anyone can click and give, and all donations are tax-deductible.

After 50,000 pairs have been donated, one person (with a guest of their choosing) will be selected at random to deliver the shoes they purchased to someone in need on one of Soles4Souls’ trips to Mexico!

“Can you imagine what it would be like to personally give someone their very first pair of shoes?! We look forward to connecting the tangibility of handing someone a pair of shoes with the virtual world of the Internet,” Elsey said.

Social networking has become a very powerful communications tool; however, no one knows when life will hit hard or where a disaster will strike. One day you have everything you need; the next you may only have your life. A pair of shoes can help people begin the rebuilding process. Shoes not only bring hope, but in millions of cases they can save lives. It is estimated that Americans have 1.5 billion pairs of unworn shoes lying in their closets while over 300 million children around the world have never owned a pair of shoes. This is an opportunity to “Step Up” and to help Soles4Souls with their mission of “Changing the World, One Pair at a Time” with “One Click at A Time.”

The 50,000 Pairs in 50 Days Challenge