Tuesday, September 12, 2006

How I commemorated 9/11

Let's see. In the morning, I turned off NPR because all the topics revolved around the anniversary of 9/11. Yeah, it was a quiet morning.

When I perused the paper, I skipped all the headlines about 9/11. So I had a quick read.

As I searched the internet, I grew so tired of banal images intended to put people in hysteria:

Thankfully, by the evening, I was saved. The Los Angeles and Valley area campaign for a Department of Peace and Nonviolence hosted a screening of the 1982 film classic, Gandhi, in celebration of 100 years of non-violence and the birth of the non-violence movement in 1906. When I learned about the screening through the LA Weekly, I really felt it was appropos to attend... and I am really glad I went. Gandhi is my new hero.
If you haven't seen this movie yet, you must. Put it on your Netflicks queue. Buy and own it.

The movie was long, like 3 1/2 hours, and even had an actual intermission, but the story was so captivating that my ADD brain didn't mind. The movie fortunately helped fill in many blanks of my limited knowledge of the Indian Independence Movement and the subsequent partition of India and Pakistan.

The performers were excellent, and so was the art direction/cinematography. The scenes of non-violent civil disobedience were so powerful. Gandhi was right when he said non-violent resistance is not passive.

“You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.”

Dude, I can go on and on why I love this movie. But most importantly, I learned more about Gandhi. This man is awesome!

After the screening, I felt so inspired. The belief that one person can make a difference rekindled in me. Considering humankind's barbaric history and current hyperactive culture toward violence, it seems impossible, almost mythical, that a movement of non-violence gained Indian independence from the almighty British Empire. It's crazy.

“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems”

In addition to Mahatma Gandhi's acute strategic and organizing skills, as well as being a saavy lawyer, I admire him for his commitment to live his life the way he thought was right. It's so hard to do. It really is. I struggled for many years to live in a way that was more aligned with my politics and beliefs (particulary with regards to consumerism), but found myself defeated each time.

“The Roots of Violence: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice, Politics without principles”

Gandhi chose to live a simple, self-sustaining life and practiced for many years to make himself into the person he wanted to be. I'm sure he failed at times, because he's human. Just the fact he made an effort everyday of his adult life to live consciously and deliberately resonates deep value within me.

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

I think DYY is ready for her own personal transformation. Don't laugh, I'm serious. In fact, the first thing I did when I got home was purchase The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of his Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas over Amazon. I guess I want Gandhi to continue to inspire and motivate me as I revive my long-abandoned pursuits to live life consciously and deliberately.

“Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning.”


Anonymous said...

This is the best blog you have posted yet. I am proud of you Rebecca. Your writing was also truly inspirational.

J said...

ditto. :-) i wanna get the book too!

i've been trying to...you know...get better clarity and focus on doing sh*t in my life. heheh. you know...like when you start buying dvd's off of kcet of a white guy who teaches qigong. (ergh, like me)

i'll let you know if and when i get a chance to read that booook...