Ghandi’s Grandson and Graduation

26 04 2017

Today, I heard Scott LaMar interview Arun Ghandi, grandson of Mohandes Ghandi, on my local NPR station, WITF*. The whole interview was interesting, but the closing was a forehead smacker for me. 

 Ghandi, the younger, was asked about Ghandi’s  Seven Blunders of the World, a list that “grew from Ghandi’s search for the roots of violence:”**

Wealth without Work

Pleasure without Conscience

Knowledge without Character

Commerce without Morality

Science without Humanity

Worship without Sacrifice

Politics without Principle

 It’s still a mighty good list.

 And then Arun Ghandi offered his own Eighth Blunder:

Rights without Responsibilities

 With those words, something came screaming out of my memory bank – something I said in 1972.

 Dr. Ghandi had, with a very small twist, just articulated the theme of my high school commencement speech, delivered to about a hundred fellow students and their families in my tiny hometown.   I was just bold enough and innocent enough to stand up in front of that group and argue that freedom and responsibility do not survive without each other. I cautioned that unless we accepted and fulfilled the responsibilities accompanying such wonderful freedoms, we would surely lose them. 

Actual Portion of Paula’s 1972 Boiling Springs High School Graduation Speech – Really!

 The list of things I’ve gotten wrong since that day 45 years ago is too long to begin to write, but it looks like I got this one right. We can’t take goodness for granted. I  agree with Dr. Ghandi that we should perhaps have (at least a Personal) Bill of Responsibilities to accompany our precious Bill of Rights.

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